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North Dakota 67th Legislative Assembly

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North Dakota 67th Legislative Assembly

Posted: May 07 2021
North Dakota 67th Legislative Assembly
The 2021 North Dakota Legislature reached its finale early Friday morning with lawmakers adjourning at 12:26 a.m. with approval of the spending bill for the Office of Management and Budget, which also serves as the Legislature’s last-minute catchall measure. Thursday was day 76 for the Legislature, just short of the 80-day maximum set by the North Dakota Constitution. The Legislature will use the remaining days later in the year to approve new legislative districts.

The 67th Legislative Assembly included a record-high state budget, the first expulsion of a lawmaker and coronavirus pandemic protocols. Of the 914 bills and resolutions introduced this session, 500 passed by both chambers and 29 were withdrawn.

One of the big wins for Minot Area Chamber EDC is the passing of Senate Bill 2245, the Intermodal Facility Construction Grant Program. The bill was introduced by Senators Krebsbach, Burckhard, Hogue, and Wanzek and Representatives Fisher and Louser. The bill provides $2 million to the agriculture commissioner for an intermodal facility grant program that includes an emergency clause which permits immediate access to the funds. This one-time funding will expand rail capacity to support economic and workforce development and growth and enhance the value of agriculture and commercial products exported through the Logistics Park of ND intermodal facility, operated by Rail Modal Group. Currently, the present operator is conducting business under a provisional arrangement with BNSF. The provisional arrangement ends August 1, 2021 and at that time BNSF will evaluate the continuation of the arrangement.

The Minot Area Chamber EDC Governmental Affairs Committee and the Board of Directors work throughout the session to keep up to date on the legislation that impacts our community and issues facing business both locally and statewide. Many military, veteran, and military family friendly bills passed this session including Senate Bill 2175 – Spouse and Military Member Occupational Licensure reform.

New to the session was coronavirus protocols. The Chamber EDC was a coalition partner working alongside the Greater North Dakota Chamber (GNDC) and others on COVID-19 business liability protection. A coalition of over 20 organizations called for legislation that protect businesses and workers that rely on them. House Bill  1175 is based on model legislation from Iowa, which has served as an example for other states. By offering civil liability protection, the bill recognizes that businesses and organizations form all industries have worked hard to stay open and provided ongoing goods, services, and employment that our state relies on.

It is the mission of the Minot Area Chamber EDC to advocate for and invest in business activity by being a collaborative partner in the community, focused on improving quality of life for all. The work over the past 76 days moves our community and state in the right direction. Thank you to all Legislators for your service to our state and for the work you do.
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