Township road money is a bone of contention in bill SB2013 which is the budget for Trust Lands. Oil country townships get 3 percent of the oil extraction tax in their county. Another 3 percent of the extraction tax is pooled from the nine biggest oil producing counties and then distributed per township in those counties depending on maintained miles. Of course, most legislators are from the East where there are organized townships that do not get that money and they are after some. It looks like (after several conference committees) non-oil townships could end up getting some extra money. Details will follow when the bill is finalized, but it is safe to say that, if it does come towards the East, it will not be the $10,000 that they saw in 2013.
Thursday morning saw some movement towards funding Workforce Training with some marketing money plucked out of the Higher Ed budget bill. Not final yet.
Now is the time to watch for those disappointed earlier in the session to try and attach items to the OMB budget, so I have asked people on that committee to provide a list that they were preparing this morning. Dunno what one can do about it when seeing something on that list, but it’s better than being blindsided.
Still to come yesterday, Water, Mill and Elevator, APUC and more. Rumor has it that we are not going to be able to wrap up the Session on Saturday, so we will more than likely go home Friday and come back Monday. Rumor confirmed just now – we will be working Monday and Tuesday.
One other bill of note that succeeded this session after many failures is an important one for rural folks. That is interoperable radio funding. In many areas, different emergency services from law enforcement to fire and EMTs cannot talk to one another and now there is the ability to start the trunk system with a $15 million loan from BND and a fifty cent 911 fee. All communications equipment must be able to comply with the system going forward.