North Dakota United is hard at work this legislative session tracking the bills that most greatly affect our members and their communities. The list below is updated every Friday. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like information regarding NDU’s stance on a bill not on the list.
Wins for Public Education and Public Service:
HB 1058: This bill improves leave sharing for state employees. It failed in its original vote in the House chamber on 1/18, but was reconsidered, amended, and passed by a vote of 90-3 on 2/1. It then passed the Senate on 3/4 by a vote of 46-1 and had been signed by the Governor.
HB 1075: Eliminates the days that were set aside for the fall conference. This would leave the decision up to local school districts. President Archuleta testified in support of this bill, which passed the House on 1/15 by a vote of 87-3 and the Senate on 3/19 by a vote of 41-5.
HB 1210: Directs legislative management to consider a study on teachers’ out-of-pocket classroom expenses. President Archuleta testified in support of this bill which passed a vote in the House on 1/25. It passed the Senate on 3/5 by a vote of 41-6 and has been signed by the Governor.
HB 1281: This terrible bill would have diverted funding from public schools to private and homeschools. It narrowly passed the House by a vote of 50-44 on 2/23, but thankfully failed in the Senate on 3/22 by a vote of 15-32.
HB 1298: This cruel bill would have banned transgender athletes under the age of 18 from competing on the sports teams that match their gender identity. North Dakota United stands in solidarity with all students and in opposition to all forms of discrimination. After passing both chambers, HB 1298 was vetoed by the Governor on 4/22. On that same day, the House voted to override the veto by a vote of 68-25, but the Senate fortunately sustained the veto by a vote of 28-19.
HB 1311: Would have loosened the restrictions on locations where a licensed individual is allowed to carry a concealed weapon. It was defeated in the House by a vote of 43-49 on 2/19.
HB 1369: Established an education empowerment program. President Archuleta testified in opposition due to NDU’s strongly held belief that public funding should go solely to public schools at the hearing on 1/25. It narrowly failed in the House on 2/18 by a vote of 45-49.
HB 1431: This bonding bill provides funding for infrastructure projects. It passed a vote in the House chamber on 2/19 and was referred to the Senate Finance & Taxation committee. It was amended and passed the Senate on 4/8 by a vote of 46-0 and has been signed by the Governor.
HB 1478: President Archuleta provided testimony, focused on the importance of the teacher’s role, in support of this bill, heard 2/2 in House Education. It has been amended passed the House by a vote of 87-7 on 2/18. It was amended and passed the Senate unanimously on 3/22. It was signed by the Governor on 4/19.
SB 2003: This is the budget bill for NDUS and higher education institutions. It unanimously passed the Senate on 2/23, the House on 4/14 by a vote of 72-22, and was signed by the Governor on 4/22.
SB 2033: Creates a University System Capital Building Fund. It unanimously passed the Senate on 1/25 and passed the House by a vote of 79-12 on 3/22.
SB 2046: President Archuleta testified in favor of this bill in its original form, which would have increase employer/employee contribution to PERS by 1% beginning January 2022. We have supported this bill in the past to shore up PERS but we have also been consistent in our message that pay raises must more than cover this increase. It unanimously passed the Senate on 2/19. After arriving in the House, this bill was amended to close the defined benefit PERS plan by 2023 and shore up the plan with a $100 million appropriation. NDU actively worked as this situation unfolded to oppose these draconian, last minute efforts. Thankfully, the Senate defeated the bill on 4/29 by a vote of 12-35.
SB 2196: Establishes a North Dakota competency framework for students who have demonstrated content mastery. President Archuleta testified in support on 1/26 in Senate Education. It has been amended and passed the Senate on 2/16 by a vote of 46-1. It passed the House on 3/15 by a vote of 90-2 and has been signed by the Governor.
SB 2288: President Archuleta testified in opposition to this voucher bill on 2/9 in the Senate Finance & Taxation committee. In a win for public education, this bill failed in the Senate on 2/22 by a vote of 16-30.
HCR 3007: President Archuleta testified against this bill attempting to end the Governor’s state of emergency which would result in the end of critical education pandemic response policies. It failed in the House on 2/5.
Losses for Public Education and Public Service:
HB 1114: President Archuleta testified in favor of this bill which would have appropriated $3,000,000 to NDDPI, grant to ESPB, to expand teacher support program for 1st and 2nd year teachers. This bill received a Do Pass recommendation from the House Education committee but a Do Not Pass from House Appropriations on 2/18. It ultimately failed on 2/22 by a House vote of 23-71.
HB 1209: Requires legislative management to develop a plan during the 2021-22 interim to close the PERS defined benefit plan to new hires effective January 1, 2024. It passed the House on 2/23 by a vote of 89-5 and the Senate on 3/29 by a vote of 34-13. NDU has always supported the defined benefit plan and President Archuleta testified repeatedly against this bill.
HB 1323: Eliminates the ability of a statewide elected official and state health officer to require masks in times of a public safety crisis. It is the opposite of local control and a terrifying law to create in the current global landscape. It passed both the House and Senate, was vetoed by the Governor, and the veto was overturned by a vote of 66-27 in the House and 32-16 in the Senate on 4/22.
HB 1398: This bill mandates that the state and other political subdivisions may not require an employer to provide paid family leave. President Archuleta testified in opposition to this bill which passed the House on 2/17 by a vote of 79-14. It passed the Senate on by a vote of 39-7.
HB 1413: Called for a study to look at providing funding for breakfast and lunch for all K-12 students, free of charge. President Archuleta testified in support of this bill in both its original form, which provided the funding, as well as after it was turned into a study. HB 1413 passed the House on 2/18 by a vote of 70-24. It was heard in Senate Education on 3/8 and sadly failed the Senate on 3/19 by a vote of 9-37.
HB 1441: President Archuleta testified in support of a paid family medical leave program in House Industry, Business, & Labor on 2/3. This bill was amended into a study, and passed the House on 2/18 by a vote of 75-18. It unfortunately barely failed in the Senate on 3/11 by a vote of 22-25.
SB 2031: The higher education funding formula bill failed by a vote of 2-45 on 2/23 in the Senate.
SB 2169: This bill would have created a COVID-19 relief grant program for essential workers. President Archuleta submitted supporting testimony for this bill which failed in the Senate on 2/18 by a vote of 7-40.
SB 2215: This bill was a direct attack on teacher voice and the collective bargaining process. NDU was able to work to pass some amendments to make the bill better, but it still unfortunately passed the Senate on 2/16 by a vote of 37-10 the House on 4/6 by a vote of 63-29.
SB 2229: This bill, for which President Archuleta gave supporting testimony, would have provided for student teacher scholarships in geographic areas identified as teacher shortage or critical need. It failed the Senate on 2/18 by a vote of 9-38.
SB 2235: This bill would have provided funding for school nurse programs. The hearing was held on 1/27 and President Archuleta submitted testimony urging a Do Pass recommendation. Unfortunately, the bill failed in the Senate on 2/5.
SB 2257: President Archuleta submitted testimony in support of this bill regarding after school programming on 1/27 in Senate Appropriations. It failed on 2/19 by a vote of 9-36 in the Senate.
SB 2300: This bill would have made a full-time temporary public employee eligible to receive full-time benefits after two years of employment. NDU testified in support during the 2/2 Senate Industry, Business, & Labor committee hearing. It received an unfavorable recommendation on 2/4 from the Employee Benefits Program Committee. It ultimately was withdrawn from consideration on 2/8.