I hope this update finds all of you well.
Day 61 is complete and conference committees have begun.
A few dozen bills are left to be voted on in their respective second chambers, but conference committees have begun on those bills that have passed both chambers and have amendments from the second chamber with which the original chamber doesn’t agree.
Senate and House leadership have reached an agreement on public employee salaries.
It will be 2% the first year and 2.5% the second year with the first year having a minimum raise of $120/month and a maximum raise of $200/month.
This will result in lower salaries receiving a higher raise than the 2% and the $120,000+ salaries receiving slightly less than 2%.
The second year will be a flat 2.5% increase.
K-12 education funding will be working towards on-time funding (funding is currently based on the previous year enrollment). SB 2265 is looking to put it one semester behind instead of a full year and then work towards on-time funding over the next few years.
Years ago, when most schools were experiencing declining enrollment funding began to be based on previous year enrollment so the loss in funding would be delayed one year.
Now, however, with many schools experiencing enrollment growth (very large growth in some areas), the call is to return to on-time funding.
SB 2344, the pore space bill, has received as much attention among landowners as SB 2315, the posting bill (which has yet to be voted on in the House).
Thank you to those who have contacted me on this issue.
The most interesting part of this is to see landowners on both sides of the issue.
The bill has undergone numerous negotiations and changes with more to come in conference committee.
It’s admittedly challenging to see teams of lawyers on both sides of the issue who disagree on the meaning of language.
The bottom line is property rights need to be defended and upheld.
HB 1388 has passed which adds second cousins to the list of allowed shareholders or members of a corporate farm.
Now that we’re in the 4th and 5th (and perhaps more) generations of farms, some family farm corporations are at risk of having to be dissolved if second cousins can’t legally be in the same farm corporation.
It was interesting to learn that the average farm size (in acres) in North Dakota is more than double that of all of our neighboring states even though we have the strictest corporate farm laws in the nation.
Have a great week and I’ll look forward to next time.
Jordan Kannianen, District 4 Senator