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General News

House approves new teacher negotiation guidelines

Apr 7, 2021

The House has approved a bill that puts some time limits on teacher negotiations.

The bill says by July first – unless agreed to be the teachers and the school board – negotiations must be completed. If no agreement is reached, the parties go to impasse.

Supporters of the bill argued in committee that one side or the other often used delaying tactics in negotiation strategy.

House rejects annual 'short session' bill

Apr 7, 2021

The House has killed a bill that would have allowed the Legislature to meet in a short session in the even numbered years.

As the Senate amended SB 2218, it would try a one-time short session to see if it would work.

Bills would have to be approved by a select committee, before they could be taken up in a short session.

Supporters say it was partially born out of frustration with the Legislature not having much of a say in how federal CARES Act money was spent. That decision was in the hands of the state’s Emergency Commission and the Legislature’s Budget Section.

'Juneteenth' observance passes House

Apr 7, 2021

The North Dakota House has voted in favor of the state observing “Juneteenth.”

The day is called that because on June 19th, 1865, slavery officially ended in Texas. And it is observed by 47 other states.

Rep. Austen Schauer (R-West Fargo) said this does not involve a mandatory day off for private of public employees.

"It is meant to bring unity to a sometimes, if not often, divided country," Schauer said.

Schauer said it is also meant as a day to condemn human trafficking.

261 new COVID-19 cases, 2 deaths confirmed

Apr 6, 2021

The state health department has confirmed two more deaths related to COVID-19, bringing the statewide death toll to 1,468.

 

The patients were a woman in her 70s from Cass County, and a man in his 40s from Grand Forks County.

 

Deaths are reported to the state health department by facilities or by official death record, and can take up to ten days to be confirmed. 

 

'Clean Energy Fund' bill in a Senate committee

Apr 6, 2021

A bill to create a state Clean Energy Authority is now before a state Senate Committee.

HB 1452 would appropriate $40 million from the state’s General Fund. A companion proposal in HB 1431, the bonding bill, would add another $250 million.

The measure is designed to fund projects to reduce emissions. That would include carbon-capture systems at coal-fired electric plants.

One of the supporters – North Dakota Petroleum Council president Ron Ness – told the Senate Appropriations Committee this would give North Dakota energy a “leg up.”

Legislature passes Legacy Fund investment study

Apr 6, 2021

The state Senate has passed a measure to study investing Legacy Fund moneys in North Dakota.

A bill already making its way through the Legislature will set aside a percentage of future earnings to be invested locally. But Sen. Mark Weber (R-Casselton) told the Senate this measure is intended to take a broader view, to see if there are opportunities where Legacy Fund monies could be directly invested into start-up companies.

North Dakota Legislators are preparing for a December special session to deal with redrawing legislative district boundaries.

But there will likely be another subject – how to deal with the new COVID relief money coming from the federal government.

Legislative leaders had hoped to deal with some of the projected $1.3 billion the state will receive from the American Rescue Act.

According to the state health department’s coronavirus dashboard, 76 new individuals from 13 counties have tested positive for COVID-19 in North Dakota, bringing the new statewide positive total to 103,714.

 

These results were from a pool of 1,055 tests for a daily positive rate of 9.15 percent.

 

60 of those positives were PCR tests, and 16 were antigen tests.

 

The cases broken down by county are:

 

 

 

ND's vaccine administration continues against COVID-19

Apr 5, 2021

North Dakota’s vaccination rate against COVID-19 continues to climb.

The state has been vaccinating the general public in addition to prior priority groups for the past week. Of just over 409,000 official doses of vaccine delivered to the state, more than 431,000 doses have been administered. Some vials of vaccine contain more “official” doses than is listed.

According to the state health department’s COVID-19 vaccine dashboard, 42,000 additional doses have been administered over the past seven days.

58 new coronavirus cases found

Apr 4, 2021

According to the state health department’s coronavirus dashboard, 58 new individuals from 11 counties have tested positive for COVID-19 in North Dakota, bringing the new statewide positive total to 103,638.

 

These results were from a pool of 1,354 tests for a daily positive rate of 5.37 percent.

 

37 of those positives were PCR tests, and 21 were antigen tests.

 

The cases broken down by county are:

 

 

 

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