Final Legislative Update from the 67th Legislative Assembly
The Legislature wrapped up their business sine die early Friday morning around 12:30 am. Although they went into Friday morning it was still considered day 76 which leaves them some days in reserve of their 80-day allowance. Of the just over 900 bills introduced about 500 new laws were enacted.
In the waning hours of the 67th Legislative Session, the focus was on approving the Office of Management and Budget appropriation and the Department of Human Services appropriation which is the largest appropriation in the state at over $4 billion.
Other important legislative updates for the business community last week were:
HB 1380 Legacy Fund Streams –
The House and Senate were able to come to an agreement on the Legacy Fund Streams Bill. This bill creates a blueprint for the Legacy Fund earnings starting in 2023. The bill doesn’t resemble the stream mechanisms laid out in the original bill and by the Senate, rather it more closely resembles the bucket system that is currently utilized in allocating other incoming revenue to the state. Conference committee members settled on a 3.5% calculation for the percent of market value. This is estimated to bring around $500 million for the biennium.
- Sinking Fund (HB 1431 Bond Payment & Public Employee Retirement System) - $150 million
- Highway Tax Distribution Fund - $60 million
- Discretionary Fund with Legislative Intent
- Tax Relief - $50 million
- Clean Sustainable Energy Fund - $60 million
- University Research and Innovation Loan Fund - $30 million
- Other allocations: Sinking Fund Reserve, Legacy Earnings Fund, Legacy Fund principle reinvestment, and Strategic Investment and Improvement Fund.
This bill would have addressed the unfunded liability of the NDPERs retirement plan and work towards converting the plan from defined benefit to defined contribution. The bill failed in the Senate. As an alternative, both bodies passed HB 1209 which will look closer at this issue during the interim. There is funding contained within 1380 to address this unfunded liability.
SB 2245 Minot Intermodal Facility –
As approved by both the House and Senate this bill will provide a $2 million grant for improvements at the Minot Intermodal Facility. This investment and the intermodal facility are critical in keeping ND competitive in the global market for commerce.
HB 1015 Office of Management and Budget –
The OMB bill was the last bill passed this session which is normal. This bill is 29 pages and contains 46 sections. The conference committee was meeting as late as 9:40 pm Thursday on this bill to complete work into the final version. GNDC was monitoring how the Federal Funds coming to North Dakota from the American Rescue Plan (ARP) were allocated in this bill.
- Statewide area career center initiative grant - $70 million
- Grand Forks International Airport – UND Apron repair - $5 million
- Pulver Hall – DSU Meat Processing Laboratory - $4 million
This is the last week of GNDC’s legislative updates. Attend our Legislative Report Launch where we go into the specific legislation that will impact businesses as well as announce this past session's Chamber Champions.