Week 13 Legislative Update
Session is limited to 80 days. Currently, they have met/gaveled in for 58 days. Aside from Appropriations, most of the committee work is done or will be soon. We hesitantly say third period has begun. There has been some work on amended bills going before full floor votes but these are the result of concurrence from the committee chair in the bill's house of origin. Those that don't receive the chair's nod will go before the conference committee, which we outlined last week. Conference committees haven't met yet but they have been assigned. We anticipate these to begin as early as this week. Chambers will also start having two floor sessions a day to get through their work and leave days to spare for other matters of the state.
Regarding the signed bills, they become law at different times. Appropriations bills start July 1 and policy bills start August 1. Bills that passed with an emergency clause become law upon signature - no matter if they are policy or appropriations. In order for emergency clause to carry, each chamber had to approve/pass the bill with a 2/3 majority.
Recreational Marijuana – The Senate failed to pass HB 1420 adult recreational marijuana last week. The Senate delayed bills committee met and brought forward proposed Senate Resolution 4016 legalizing recreational marijuana. This resolution would have placed a measure on the ballot for the people of North Dakota to decide if recreational marijuana is right for North Dakota. This second attempt at finding some concession for legalizing recreational marijuana failed. The stance of the North Dakota Senate is clear. Now it is up to the citizens of North Dakota to place proposals on the ballot and see the will of the people.
In-State Legacy Fund Investments - HB 1425 would allow for up to 20% of the Legacy Fund principle to be invested in-state by North Dakota investment firms. This is a strategic path towards economic diversification and infrastructure investments in North Dakota, while still growing the Legacy Fund for future generations. Both the House and Senate passed this bill by large margins and is on its way to the Governor for signature. This bill was a favorite among trade associations.
Career Builders Program - HB 2272 is the continuation of the ND Career Builders program. This passed unanimously in Senate and recently passed out the House Education (14-0) and Appropriations (19-1-1) Committees. There were some minor amendments made to the bill but the $6 million appropriation stayed intact. Next, the bill will need to be voted on by the full house and then over to the Senate to concur with the amendments. If the Senate doesn’t agree with the amendments it may go to conference committee.