68th Legislative Session: Week One
GNDC is not just excited about the start of the new year, we are double pumped because this is also the start of the 68th Legislative Assembly! We have our pencils sharpened! Legislative session is the time when laws are created by elected state representatives that will impact us well into the future. GNDC has been pacing the capitol halls for 100 years – fighting to ensure our state has one of the best, most competitive business climates in the nation.
HERE IS A SESSION OVERVIEW:
- Session is 80 days, maximum.
- The day will only count if they gavel in on the chamber floor to conduct legislative actions.
- They will save days just in case for special situations
- There are 141 legislators.
- There are 2 chambers comprised of Senators and Representatives.
- All districts have 2 representatives and 1 senator. (Districts 4 and 9 are subdivided into A and B areas, impacting their representative selection)
- Every bill has a committee hearing and a floor vote.
- Session is divided into 3 "periods"
- First period will shift to second period when bills that pass one chamber cross the hall to be voted on in the remaining chamber.
- Third period is conference committee where changes between the 2 chambers are worked out and agreed upon by subcommittees representing both chambers.
WHAT TO EXPECT: WEEK ONE
- Governor’s State of the State (different than budget address)
- This is a highlight of what’s happening and what the state has accomplished over the last year. This is a “mood setter” for the session.
- We expect him to highlight a few businesses and their accomplishments in putting North Dakota on the map, as well as commend current conditions that make ND a good place to do business.
- We anticipate Gov. Burgum will prompt further action on issues related to tax and childcare, areas where policy pushes will further North Dakota’s position being a top location for business consideration and sustainability.
- Committee work: Most action will be orientation and some procedural
- This first week will begin with state government agencies providing overviews of their actions and legislative asks or support of the governor’s budget (cabinet specific).
- We watch these overviews to see what appropriations and programmatic changes are recommended.
- Here’s a list of a few agencies we will be watching.
- Dept of Commerce
- Dept of Career and Technical Education (CTE)
- Workers Safety and Insurance (WSI)
- Job Service (JSND)
- GNDC's Work: Bills that have already been submitted may even start their work and require our attention.
- Bill 2031 – aimed at price fixing specific to mediation and pharmaceuticals, is one that we have already put on our bad bill list. This bill has some unintended consequences and will not accomplish the goal set out. We anticipate that these mandates will restrict access, increase costs via consumer pass-ons, and harm innovation and research. GNDC OPPOSES this bill - during the interim, we had research conducted to layout the full scope of the issue.
- Session is 80 days, maximum.