NDSGA | Murphy’s Law 2021 #28 Township Roads

March 25, 2021

Township roads, near and dear to agriculture, have surfaced as an area of interest this session. There are at least a few bills that have some dollars intended for them. One was dealt with in the late afternoon yesterday in Senate Finance and Tax – HB1431. This is one of the big bonding bills to survive and came over from the House with around $700 million in it (including the Ag Products Development Center and Northern Crops Institute). It also has $30 million for township roads of which $10 million is for non-oil townships and $20 million for oil or non-oil townships using a miles maintained formula for distribution of the funds. Senator Mark Weber asked that the 50 percent match requirement be taken out; rendering this money to be usable should these provisions of the bill survive. One worrisome aspect of HB1431, however, is that it ballooned yesterday to a $1.1 billion total. Conference committee will be interesting should it pass the Senate. HB1015 is the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and is traditionally one of the last bills to be dealt with as lawmakers hang their pet projects on it in last minute attempts to squeeze by. Townships have $8.1 million in this one which would be a flat $5,000 for each that is non-oil. Stark county just became non-oil so about $200,000 would need to be amended on. And then I believe that the DOT budget has another $500,000 available for hardship townships that cannot afford their FEMA match. So, which will survive is the question. With prior township money at a flat rate having been vetoed by this Governor in the past, it would seem HB1431 with a logical formula could make the grade. Please call your senator today to support HB1464 which is the 3 cent gas tax increase. County and township both get a piece of that formula and it will be on the floor perhaps on Friday. Thank you!