This is Day 47 of what is trying to be a 75 day or less Legislative Session. Last week there was valid reason to be hopeful of a 70 day run, but being this is a very human cauldron/beehive activity, predictions are only that. Ag policy was thought to be done (and it is on the House side) last Friday as we thought there was only HB1475 to be discussed when Senate Ag meets on the 18th and 19th. Senate Ag had kicked out HB1437, the subsurface water management bill, with a 7-0 Do Pass recommendation to the Floor. On the Calendar to be voted on, it was taken back to committee by Chairman Larry Luick for further tweaking.
HB1431, the bonding bill with water money and $ for the Ag Products Development Center and Northern Crops Institute is now in Senate Finance and Tax. Today, Senator Rich Wardner came in with plenty of other projects that had been on the bill before House Appropriations had their turn at it. Pumping it up to original form or more (We do love that extra $30 million for Townships!), this bill will almost certainly now end up in a Conference Committee in what promises to be one of the Session end games. Still uncertain is the impact on bonding bills of $1.36 billion coming to North Dakota from the American Rescue Plan.