The House killed SB2263 the other day. That was the Senate tiling bill. HB1390 is on the way to the governor and the tiling equipment should be ready to roll.
Friday morning in the Conference Committee that deals with the DOT budget, an amendment was approved that deals with the highway maintenance sites that were to be consolidated. There are eight sections to the amendment which I will not type out, but here is the essence: the DOT shall consult the counties, cities and townships (in that order) about a lease agreement which must, at minimum, discuss how they can use the site and be responsible for all routine maintenance and costs, the DOT may transfer ownership of an equipped snow plow intended for replacement by the DOT, the DOT retains the use of the salt buildings, a right to park one plow inside during a storm, and use an electrical plug. The last provision I will mention is that if the DOT has an employee whose home is located in a discontinued section, “the department shall locate one of its snow plows at or near the … site during a major winter storm…” The licensing sites, except for Rolla – because their numbers are so high- will be as proposed in the original bill.
Just before lunch in Senate Appropriations was the budget for NDSU Ag Research and Extension. The Senate does not like the $300,000 cut by the House, as well as a Soil Conservation executive position they cut. Senator Bowman said he would stay until Christmas if the House does not move towards them. Rep. Schmidt countered that, living fairly close to Bismarck, he would come play pinochle with Bowman to keep him company. In other words, nothing much happened and all the affected parties from Fargo piled back into their cars and will be back Monday. As will I.