It is a very busy day in our office and at the legislature.
- This afternoon, the North Dakota Senate passed SB 2215 by a 37-10 vote. In its current form, SB 2215 will further silence the voices of teachers and likely will deepen our state’s teacher recruitment and retention crisis. While we did not defeat the bill in the Senate, together as educators and advocates for quality public schools, we will continue to speak out against this bill as it is considered in the coming weeks by the North Dakota House of Representatives. Stay tuned for action alerts going forward on this bill.
- I want to acknowledge Sen. Tim Mathern for a truly thoughtful amendment. Senator Mathern offered an amendment to an agency funding bill on the floor of the Senate that would have allowed for a 3% salary increase for each year of the next biennium, with a minimum $120/month minimum increase and a maximum $300 increase. The Senate is at 2 and 2 with an $80/month minimum and a $300 maximum. The House is at 1.5 and 1.5 with no minimum. Bear in mind that there will be a likely 1% increase in PERS Retirement contribution so should the House position prevail, any salary increase would not even meet the rise in the cost of living.
- The legislature will receive an updated revenue forecast on March 16. That forecast will have a great deal of influence as the legislature determines funding levels.