• Brass-Tacks
  • Week Eight - Amending into Crossover

    Week Eight - Amending into Crossover

    If you look far enough into the week – you can see Crossover just peeking over the horizon. This marks the end of the “first period” of the Legislative Session. We covered before that Legislative Session is like a hockey game – 3 periods of action. Second period is the checkpoint where all bills should have cleared their chamber of origin. Some bills have already been “crossing” while some bills with special exemptions may be stalled out with a plan for their path.
    For those of us in the trenches, we thought we’ve been imagining an onslaught of amendments occurring. The increase is real – according to Legislative Council, there is a 20% increase at this point compared to the past session.

    Amendments can propel the path of bills due to a change the nature of the bill’s language. Sometimes they clean up or clarify content, sometimes they strike words or add in. And then there’s the “hog house” which is not a home for pigs. Hog house amendments are a complete overhaul of the bill – it’s a gut and rewrite. Sometimes the intent is there but this approach allows a cleaner path to get to the same end versus strikeouts, additions, updates, and other corrections. Sometimes a hog house is a flip it and reverse it approach, shifting direction and intent entirely. Hog houses can resurrect killed legislation, creating zombies in active bills.
    Sometimes GNDC likes amendments. We know that not every bill we dislike is going to be shot down but if we can work with legislators to amend to a version that doesn’t harm our members – we can be pacified. Sometimes winning is making sure that the business community doesn’t lose. However, there are times when we have busted out the line, don’t attempt to make a bad bill better. Some bills should only have 15 minutes of fame.
    Bill Count: 967

    • House: 559 (+5 from last week)
    • Senate: 408 (+1)
    Active bills: 768 (199 failed/withdrawn/signed)
    Signed into law: 2
    GNDC tracker count: 194
    Days left in session: 47 (max)

    • Business Climate
      • HB 1503: Prohibition of foreign ownership of real property
        • Oppose
        • Amended: requires individuals subject to a foreign adversary to register with the Attorney General and directs the Attorney General to complete security reviews. It also includes a study on the number of businesses impacted along with a sunset.
        • Received a do-pass out of committee with amendment
      • SB 2371: Foreign adversary (individuals, governments, or entities) may not purchase, hold, or otherwise acquire title to real property 
        • Oppose
        • Amended to remove individuals, exempts entities that:
          • Are a registered business and has maintained a status of good standing with the secretary of state for 7 years or longer before the effective date;
          • Has been approved by the committee for foreign direct investment in the US
          • Maintains an active national security agreement with the federal government
        • Passed the Senate (47-0)
      • SB 2274: Vaccine bill – prohibition on employers requiring vaccines for employment 
        • Oppose
        • Amended: Related specifically to COVID and/or vaccines authorized by the FDA under emergency-use authorization
        • Passed the Senate (24-23)
    • Workforce
      • HB 1382: Scholarships for registered apprenticeship
        • Support
        • Received Do-pass recommendation from House appropriations
      • HB 1421: Workforce development grants for new Americans
        • Support
        • Bill will probably be killed but intent will be moved in HB 1018 – ND Dept of Commerce’s agency bill 

    Insider’s peek: See our testimony on HB 1503: prohibiting foreign ownership of real property
    Our concern with HB 1503 is that it could limit access to financing and capital which would hinder growth. This is a global economy. Putting a prohibition in place could restrict North Dakota businesses from accessing investor opportunities that would enable them to be globally competitive.  Additionally, the investments that are prohibited from North Dakota would potentially go to companies in other states and countries giving them an advantage.”


    Here’s an update on action from bills that we’ve previously mentioned.
    • HB 1505: Prohibition on requiring a vaccine
      • Failed on House Floor
    • SB 2140: Insulin coverage mandate
      • GNDC’s opinion 
      • Proponents indicated intention to make it apply to all businesses next session
      • Passed Senate (38-6)
    • HB 1286: Removal of Oil Tax Trigger 
      • Passed House (72-21)
    • HB 1455: Biosciences Tax Exemption 
      • Amended to Healthcare Industry
      • Do pass from committee as amended, Passed on the House Floor (vote shown below)
    • SB 2142: Immigration Office (Located within ND Dept of Commerce)
      • Passed Senate (39-5)