On Jan. 3, 2023, the 68th North Dakota Legislative Assembly kicked off, and the members of North Dakota United, our state’s largest and most influential voice for quality public education and public services, are on the ground and participating in the legislative process.

As usual, there are a large number of bills being submitted that would have a profound effect on the professional and personal lives of our members and, just as importantly, the lives of the students and North Dakota communities that we all serve, every day. We are tracking all of these bills and will make every effort to share important information, every step of the way, on what is happening at the Capitol, who will be affected and how all of you, our ND United members and supporters, can help in our efforts to lift up positive legislation and halt attacks on public education and public service.

For More Information

In an effort to keep you informed on what our legislative team is doing, and how you can assist them, we will be regularly sharing information on the bills that we’re tracking right here on our website. Check out our Issues & Action page regularly for easy access to everything that’s happening, both in the Capitol and across the state.

Additionally, we have put together links to information specific to the 2023 legislative session, available HERE. We will be regularly updating the list of bills we’re tracking on our website. CLICK HERE to view Bills of Interest.

We are tracking a large number of bills as session begins, but these areas below will be our priorities throughout the session:

K-12 Funding Increase

Our teachers work hard to provide the best education possible to their students and their pay should reflect that. We are pushing for an 8% increase in k-12 funding, with 75% to be dedicated to increasing educator pay.

Pay Raises for Public Employees

Public workers are often significantly underpaid compared to their private sector counterparts. After several sessions of falling behind on providing necessary raises to keep up with inflation and cost of living, it’s time to get back on track. Our public workers deserve a raise in line with these increased costs, which is why we’re demanding 8% raises in each of 2024 and 2025.

Pensions

Defined benefit retirement plans provide stable retirement benefits to public workers. Two bills will be introduced to replace the current state pension with a volatile 401k plan by 2024 or 2025. It is imperative that we preserve and invest in our defined benefit retirement plans for current and future education and public employees.

Childcare

We must ensure that North Dakota makes a long and lasting investment in quality pre-k and child care that pays particular attention to the workers providing these services to set our kids up for success in school and ease the burdens on working families.

Vouchers

Every session, some legislators subject us to the latest voucher scheme with ever-changing language that accomplish the same end: siphoning off critical resources from our public schools to support private education. North Dakota United has always supported the rights of parents to choose the educational setting that is most appropriate for their child, but our public resources should not be used to support private choices. We expect we will see several voucher bills again this session and we will have to stand up and speak out again to let legislators know why we oppose vouchers.

Take Action

In order to win favorable outcomes in most or all of our upcoming legislative efforts, we need your help! All of the legislators are put into office by voters in their districts, and so they require regular feedback from their constituents. While our legislative team is hard at work in Bismarck during the session, making sure that your voices are being heard at the state level, we still need as many of our more than 11,000 members to Stand Up & Speak Out on the local level.

To contact your legislators directly, you can either CLICK HERE to submit a form to them through the ND Legislative website, or by leaving a message with the legislative telephone message center at 1-888-NDLEGIS (635-3447) or 701-328-3373 (local). More information is available at this link: www.ndlegis.gov/contact-my-legislators

North Dakota United is also offering several training options for our members to help you learn how to effectively get your voice heard during the legislative session. In addition, we will be hosting a Lobby Day at the Capitol on Presidents Day, this year. More information on how to register for these events are listed below:

Legislative Organizing Call

Join us virtually every Tuesday for our legislative session organizing call, where we will review bills relating to our main priorities and talk about how you can make an impact on these issues. You’ll have the opportunity to meet the team working in the Capitol to represent you!

CLICK HERE to Register for Legislative Organizing Call

Advocacy Training

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, so choose the Tuesday that works best for you and you only need to attend once to get all the information!

CLICK HERE to Register for Advocacy Training

Lobby Day at the Capitol

Join your fellow ND United members for a day of action as we meet with legislators and make sure they know what matters to educators and public employees! We will meet at the Radisson Hotel Bismarck on Feb. 19 to learn how to be a more effective advocate during the legislative session, then meet with legislators to make your voice heard on Feb. 20 at the State Capitol. We’ll provide meals, hotel accommodations, and mileage reimbursement!

CLICK HERE to Register for NDU Lobby Day

These next few months will be critical to North Dakota’s educators and public employees, and we need to do everything we can to be sure your voices are heard. We are excited to work with you to build a better North Dakota!

If you have any questions, comments, ideas, etc. please contact NDU Legislative Campaign Organizer Ali Hoffman at ali.hoffman@ndunited.org.