• Brass-Tacks
  • Legislative Update: Week 2

    Legislative Update: Week 2

    Week 2 of the Legislative Session is now in full swing with their first full week of committee hearings and floor sessions. Those interested in specific issues or committees can view the available livestream:

    • Appropriations committees meet all week
    • Meeting on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday
      • Education,
      • Finance and Taxation,
      • Human Services,
      • Industry, Business, and Labor (IBL),
      • Judiciary
    • Meeting on Thursday and Friday
      • Agriculture,
      • Energy and Natural Resources,
      • Government and Veterans Affairs,
      • Political Subdivision,
      • Transportation
    The majority of the core business issues and the bills the Greater North Dakota Chamber advocates on comes through the IBL committee; however, business touches all areas of the legislators' work and we will be in every committee before this session is over. The total bill and resolution count at the end of this week is 602. We are tracking over 200 pieces of legislation, visit GNDC business tracker link to see what we are keeping an eye on and how we stand on the issue. Here are a few current highlights of the session from GNDC's perspective:

    Agency Budget Bills: Numerous state agencies had their preliminary agency hearings address to appropriations committees the last two weeks. The Governor’s $15 billion budget proposal is spread out among these agency bills. His largest ask was a $1.25 billion bonding plan which includes investments in road, bridge, and vertical infrastructure, and Career and Technology Educational Centers. Legislators from both sides of the aisle have introduced their bonding plans. It is anticipated that there are more bonding proposals to come with varying price tags. GNDC will be following these proposals closely through the process to ensure they meet the needs of the business community.
     
    HB 1087 extends the invisible reinsurance program for the next biennium. This program was implemented during the 2019 legislative session to offer reinsurance in the individual health care market. The reinsurance program realized a 20% rate reduction in 2020 for enrollees in the individual health insurance market. Also included in the bill is a study to examine the feasibility to expand this reinsurance program to small group health plans. GNDC testified in support of this bill to House IBL Committee.
    It received a unanimous do pass from Committee and is being rereferred to appropriations to review the fiscal note attached to the bill.

    HB 1084 - Reviewed in Week 1's recap, WSI to add marijuana as a prohibited substance causing ineligibility - Passed on the House Floor.

    For a quick overview - visit our Business Tracking Link of all pieces of legislation that we are watching. These weekly updates will continue throughout Session. We also have scheduled a HalfTime Report, March 9 at 2:00 PM, to provide a comprehensive update to members on business-related legislation - registration is now open. 
    If an issue matters to you or you would like to testify on a bill reach out to matt@ndchamber.com.