• Brass-Tacks
  • Legislative Update for Week 3

    Legislative Update for Week 3

    Week three brings forth a few legislative deadlines, which continues to set the pace of the session. The includes a deadline for the House of Representatives to introduce bills on 1/18 and the Senate’s deadline is 1/23 – starting on 1/16 they are limited to three bills until the 23rd. Representatives had a similar restriction, from January 11 – 18, they’ve been limited to 5 bills. In the coming days, GNDC will review these final submitted bills to fully grasp all the potential legislation that will have an effect on the business community.
     
    Bills as of Monday midday: 684 (and counting as they are dropping like flies)
    GNDC has stances: 109
    Drafted bills (not yet dropped) in comparison to 2021: +200
    Days left in the session: 72 (max)
     

    WEEK 2 GNDC RECAP:

    • Appropriations Committee:
      • HB 1012: ND DOT: Support
      • HB 1018: ND Dept Commerce: Support
      • We have not yet testified on these bills but we are backing the progression and reliability of infrastructure to grow with industry (NDDOT) as well as the benefits to workforce and economic development (Commerce).
     
    • House Tax and Finance Committee:
      • HB 1168: Automation Tax Credit: Support
      • HB 1158: Flat Tax 1.5%: Support
      • HB 1118: Continuation of income tax credit: Monitor
        • We prefer HB 1158 over this bill because 1158 creates more stability and certainty in the tax environment
     
    • Senate Workforce Committee
      • SB 2142: Creation of a Healthcare Immigration Office to be located in Commerce: Monitor
        • GNDC is watching to see how this bill could include supports and services that would benefit businesses looking to supplement their workforce.
     
    • House Education Committee
      • HB 1030: reauthorization of Career Builders: Support
     
    Health and Human Services Committees
    Health insurance is a major cost to business and government mandates only create further premium increases. Currently, in North Dakota, healthcare insurance mandates must apply to state employees plan to understand potential impacts before being applied to all insurance plans. Based on this policy, this week we opposed both HB 1146  (fertility treatment coverage mandate) and SB 2140 (insulin coverage mandate). SB 2140 looked to bypass this analysis process and go statewide. Meanwhile intentions were made clear that 1146 is also pathed to be thrust upon all ND businesses. We do not oppose or lack sympathy for the causes or conditions, but the proposed mandates would cause unintended, across the board, premium increases. We have concerns regarding the consequences that would come to business owners and employees struggling to keep up with health care costs – no matter the size or industry.
     

    Insider’s Peek: Check out a testimony snippet from our opposition of 2140 (mandate on insulin):
    Both healthcare mandates and price controls shift the cost to others and artificially increase the cost of care long term.
     

    WHAT’S HITTING THIS WEEK:
    • Supporting: HB 2012 – Health and Human Services appropriation, specifically for childcare
    • Opposing: SB 2031 – Government price fixing on pharmaceuticals (more to come on this bill)