Special Session - and that's a wrap
After a whirlwind 3 days, the legislature concluded the special session on Wednesday, Oct. 25th. The Legislature ended up considering 15 bills and 1 resolution. The tax relief bill - that we previously mentioned was introduced on the floor, would have added approximately 50,000 North Dakotans to the 0% tax bracket. This bill passed in the House. However, it ultimately failed in the Senate, falling short of the 24 required votes, with 16 voting in favor and 31 opposing. Governor Burgum expressed his opinions in a follow up press release.
GNDC offered support in 3 main areas, which all successfully passed.
Here is where we weighed in:
- 1543: Provides $26.5 million to the Department of Career and Technical Education for the purpose of defraying inflationary costs of existing projects approved under the statewide area career center initiative grant program.
- 1544: Included a $2 million appropriation for operations of the Office of Legal Immigration. Among other things, this will enable the Department to seek outside expertise as the office gets established.
- 2393: This was the OMB bill and the main star/reason for special session to occur. While the bill included several things, we were watching $30 million for Development Fund. This is a strategic economic development resource for the business community.
While the ND Supreme Court decision prompted this assembly - GNDC was pleased that Legislative Management made the decision to stay focused on the issue at land - the OMB Bill with related/previously passed pieces. Our legislative process is well-thought to consider issues, inform legislators, and allow for sound decision making. Rush process would result in rush votes on big issues that impact our future.
Legislators were mindful of the purpose for returning and remained focused. While the session moved quickly, discussions around topics such as the Public Employee Retirement System and income tax relief were complex as decisions were made. All bills signed into law are effective immediately.