Hello, NDU members!
Our fight continues to the second half of the legislative session! Both pension bills will be heard next week, so look out for an Action Alert to email your Senator. Keep reading for a rundown on everything else upcoming.
Didn’t catch our previous emails? Check our Issues and Action page to read about our priorities.
A hearing on House Bill 1040, which would eliminate the defined-benefit pension plan and cost taxpayers $5.5 billion, has been scheduled for 10:30 am on Thursday, March 9, in the Senate State and Local Government Committee.
Meanwhile, Senate Bill 2239, which would invest in our pensions for 1/5th the cost, is scheduled for a 9 a.m. hearing on Friday, March 10, in the House Government and Veterans Affairs Committee. We will be sending out an Action Alert next week, which will allow you to write to your legislators about both bills, as well as submit your writing as testimony.
Senate Bill 2301 establishes a childcare stabilization program to assist with funding of childcare worker salaries. This bill has been amended to appropriate a one-time investment of $36 million to childcare providers, but we are working together with the ND Voices Network, a group of allies across the state, to push for an annual investment of $150 million.
If you’d like to learn more about the bill and the groups we are working with, register for the virtual North Dakota Childcare Action Alliance Legislative Update on Monday, March 6 at 7 pm!
Senate Bill 2247 originally was intended to restrict teaching of concepts considered “divisive” in higher education institutions. Now this bill limits non-credit higher education training involving “specified concepts” and will be heard in the House Education Committee on Tuesday, March 7, at 10:30 am. Though this bill has been watered down, it would still set a precedent for future restriction of academic freedom and education on important historical civil rights actions and concepts.
Testimony on these issues is only allowed during committee hearings. Speaking up now is the most effective way to make sure legislators are aware of the impacts of their choices. The committees’ recommendation on bills holds a lot of weight when floor votes occur in either chamber. Please reach out to us if you are willing to testify on these bills in-person or virtually so we can help facilitate your testimony! Since pensions are being heard next week, we need members to raise their voice to save the defined-benefit pension plan!
Up next …
Legislative Debrief Calls
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 March 7th at 6pm for the call.
Whether you have been involved for years or are interested in getting started for the first time, we will be providing advocacy trainings where members can learn more about the importance of their advocacy, how to get started, and some best practices. The same training will be provided every two weeks starting Tuesday, March 14th at 6pm, so choose the Tuesday that works best for you. You only need to attend once to get all the information!
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!
If you have any questions, comments, ideas, etc. please contact us at email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, or email@example.com