You may recall that the last couple of sessions the Legislature “bought back” 12 percent of county budgets to take the pressure off of property taxes. Last session we worked hard to make it a bill that would fund the state mandated part of social services that are delivered by the counties. It failed even though the Governor was pushing it, so the buyback continued. This session SB2206 attempted to fund the mandated services yet again and you may recall from earlier blogs that it sailed through the Senate. Today the House turned it into a study yet again. That may hold, but it may not – which would provide more fodder for these last few weeks of the session.
The truck harmonization/129,000 lb/intermodal bill which is HB1255 seems to be in good shape to pass after an amendment which adds a person from the short line railroads to the advisory board. They want to be there to understand what is going on. They are the only entity to have testified against in both committee hearings.
The Public Service Commission bill that had gathered so much attention early in the session (that is the elevator inspection/insolvency proceedings being taken out of district court/a new insolvency fund and so on) has passed out of Senate Agriculture committee with a Do Pass recommendation. It has a study tacked on to examine the testing of vomitoxin, rust and falling numbers.
With budget cuts being the order of the day, it has been difficult to watch those in NDSU Research and Extension going under the knife. So too with the Dept. of Transportation. As far as the that budget is concerned with the 8 sites targeted for consolidation of road maintenance units and a similar number of communities having driver’s license pared back, it is in flux.
The tiling bills and Quick Take bills have yet to be placed on the Calendar, which is the schedule for appearing on the floor, but they will be soon and probably this week.