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The chairman of the Senate Finance and Taxation Committee is still hoping for an interim study to look at potential uses for the proceeds from the Legacy Fund.

This – after a House-Senate conference committee decided to return House Concurrent Resolution 3055 back to its original version – which was a proposed Constitutional amendment to reinvest the proceeds into the Legacy Fund. The proceeds now will go into the state’s general fund.  The Senate changed it to a study. But the House wouldn’t agree.

The Legislature has given its support to a proposed Theodore Roosevelt Library and Museum, to be built at Medora.

The funding plan passed as part of the Governor’s budget. It provides $50 million for an endowment. $15 million would be in general fund dollars, and $30 million comes from a Bank of North Dakota loan. That money will be used to match $100 million in private donations.

"This is a one-time opportunity," said Rep. Bill Tveit (R-Hazen). "I don't want to stand here five years from now, or have my grandchildren 50 years from now regret that we didn't do this."

Compromise reached on ethics legislation

22 hours ago

A House-Senate conference committee has approved a compromise bill to implement the new Article 14 of the Constitution – concerning ethics.

It was a compromise to the House version of the bill.

"I think this is a great attempt to implement what Measure One says we need to implement," said Rep. Jim Kasper (R-Fargo), the author of the original House bill, and the chairman of the conference committee.

Kasper called it a "work in progress."

"As you can see, there's heartache and concern," Kasper said. "But I think we have done a pretty good job."

Roosevelt library closer to becoming a reality

23 hours ago
Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

A House-Senate conference committee has reached an agreement on funding for a proposed Theodore Roosevelt Library and Museum, to be built in Medora.

The item was added to the Governor’s office budget. It provides for $15 million in general fund dollars, plus allows borrowing up to $35 million from the Bank of North Dakota. That $50 million would make up an endowment fund, and would be used to attract $100 million in private donations.

The Legislature has passed and sent to Gov. Doug Burgum a bill that makes it easier for military spouses who have professional licenses issued by other states to receive North Dakota licenses.

It’s an issue Burgum has advocated. He talked about it in his "State of the State" address.

The measure also contains language for a Commerce Department study of North Dakota licensing boards.

"They're (the military) now using 'quality of life' metrics, as they determine base closures," said the bill's sponsor, Sen. Scott Meyer (R-Grand Forks).

Help Wanted: Prosecutors

Apr 23, 2019
North Dakota Association of Counties

Some North Dakota counties have “Help Wanted” signs out for assistant states’ attorneys.

Some of these positions have gone unfilled for some time.

"For the last couple of years, we're seeing a lot of burnout, especially in the western counties," said North Dakota Association of Counties legal counsel Aaron Birst.

For example, Burleigh County is down six assistant states' attorneys, and Ward County has five openings.

The state of North Dakota could be a step closer to adopting a “self insurance” plan for state employee health care coverage.

An amendment attached by the House to the budget bill for the Public Employees Retirement System says the PERS board must solicit bids for health insurance over the next two year period, and that “request for proposals” must include an option for self-insurance. The amendment says PERS cannot issue a contract until it receives input from the Legislature.

Rep. Mike Lefor (R-Dickinson) said self-insurance is a good option.

An interview with Chancellor Mark Hagerott

Apr 22, 2019

Sen. Nicole Poolman (R-Bismarck)

Apr 19, 2019

Senate rejects retirement study

Apr 19, 2019

The Senate has rejected a study of the state’s retirement system.

The original bill was designed to raise contributions to the PERS retirement fund by one percent for both employees and the state. That was changed to a study, to take a look at converting the state retirement plan from a “defined benefit” plan to a “defined contribution” plan.


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