Hello, NDU members!
We have urgent updates that need your action! Read more below to find out what you can do to help.
Didn’t catch our previous emails? Check our Issues and Action page to read about our priorities.
We’ve got great news in our efforts to kill House Bill 1532, which would put public money in the hands of private schools. After last week’s disappointing “do pass” recommendation from the House Education committee, HB 1532 was heard in House Appropriations. Legislators were concerned about the amount of public funding this bill would send to private and parochial schools, the potential for consolidation of rural schools, and the specific language in the bill that states there shall be no regulation applied to these public dollars once they arrive in the hands of a private school. As we’ve said before, private schools do not play by the same rules and regulations that public schools do. They are not required to accept all students, do not have the capacity to accommodate students with additional educational needs, and are not held to the same standards of accountability and transparency. For a rural view on why this bill needs to be rejected, check out this letter to the editor from Karen Michalka in the Bismarck Tribune.
House Appropriations moved forward with a 15-8 DO NOT PASS recommendation on HB 1532 and it is now headed to the House Floor on Monday for final consideration in the House. We can kill this bill. Go to the “Act” section below to find out how!
This week, both House Bill 1040 and Senate Bill 2239 received “do pass” recommendations in their respective Appropriations Committees and are now headed to the House and Senate Floor for final consideration in their chambers. As we’ve mentioned, HB 1040 would eliminate the defined-benefit pension plan by 2025, leaving public workers with one retirement option: a far more expensive and less stable defined contribution plan. Additionally, closing the defined benefit pension plan would cost taxpayers $5.5 billion over the next 20 years! Senate Bill 2239, on the other hand, would invest in our current pension plan for 1/5th the cost of closing it through HB 1040. North Dakota United supports SB 2239 and opposes HB 1040. Please read on to find what you can do to make your voice heard and support future public workers of North Dakota as these bills head to their respective chamber floor for a final vote.
Vouchers Action Alert
Because of your advocacy and pressure on the Appropriations Committee, this bill received a “do not pass” recommendation and is headed to the House floor on Monday! Now, we must keep up the pressure, as we have an opportunity to kill it right now! Click the link below to send an urgent message to your legislators, asking that they vote NO on HB 1532.
Pensions Action Alert
HB 1040 and SB 2239 are headed to the House and Senate Floor for final votes next week! Our legislators need to know we do not support the closure of the defined benefit plan and instead fully support investing in it to ensure our current plan serves public employees. Email your legislators now to urge a NO vote on HB 1040 and a YES vote on SB 2239. Send a message within minutes using the link below!
Up next …
Escalate the Impact of Your Colleagues
Watch for an email on Monday morning with tools and action items to amplify the work your colleagues are doing at the Capitol for Lobby Day!
Legislative Debrief Calls
This will be the first call after Lobby Day and will be a great opportunity to learn about the happenings from other members and what comes next. These calls are not only an exciting way to interact with the team at the Capitol representing you, but also an excellent opportunity to ask questions about legislation that is on your mind. Join us via Zoom on February 21st at 6pm for the call.
These updates involve the most urgent matters relating to our top priorities. We’re monitoring many more bills and issues and encourage you to stay tuned to your email for action alerts as the session progresses. Head to our Bills of Interest page to stay informed on other bills we’re monitoring!