NDSGA | Murphy’s Law 2021 #18 SBARE and a Bonding Success (so far)

February 22, 2021

The bonding success story relates to the Friday passage of HB1431 by the House floor at about a three to one ratio. This margin of support surprised many as the House not only quashed a Republican bonding bill of $1.1 billion in the second week of the session but also stripped out about $100 million from HB1431 before passing it yesterday. With hundreds of millions of dollars in it to compress construction of the Fargo diversion and so saving an estimated $20 million, it also included $50 million for the AG Products Development Center/Northern Crops Institute. You may well imagine that forces friendly to promoting our agricultural industry were brought to bear on lawmakers in weeks leading up to Friday’s vote. Also important to our producers is the $70 million for the North Dakota Department of Transportation for roads and bridges and $50 million for a revolving loan fund which could potentially be used to some degree for infrastructure. We thank you lawmakers for your confidence and support. The cautionary “so far” at the top refers to needed passage by the Senate. Many would like to see this bill skate through the second period of the session untouched to avoid having to take part in the third period, aka the time of Conference Committees. Time will tell.
Both Ag committees joined on Friday to listen to the State Board of Agricultural Research and Education and the NDSU Extension and Research personnel explain what they do. The many facets of animal and plant sciences were discussed as were marketing, technologies and others. The recordings from all the experts were concise and so well done that it led to legislators at the end praising those responsible and the technology which allowed all to take part without having to travel and miss work. Of the ton of facts, one thing I will share is that North Dakota Ag Productivity increases on average at a rate of 2.9 percent yearly. Another is the Return on Investment ranges yearly from 13 percent to 37 percent leading to an average of 24 percent ROI. President Dean Bresciani introduced it all by remarking on the diversity of our crops and the impossibility of those varieties existing and thriving without Research and Extension. Keep up the good work!