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 highlights the issues we expect will dominate our time, energy and collective action.
Promoting increased funding for equitable salary increases of at least 8% for all education and public employees.
- SB 2284 is the vehicle for K-12 funding.
- HB 1003 is the vehicle for higher education funding.
- Click here to tell legislators to fund public services at the highest level!
- Each state agency has its own appropriations bill that will include the agreed-upon raise percentage. This percentage will be the same in each agency budget. We are tracking all of these appropriations bills and would be happy to answer any questions you have at firstname.lastname@example.org
Preserving defined benefit retirement plans for current and future education and public employees.
- HB 1040 would replace the current defined benefit pension plan with a less stable defined contribution plan by 2025. The defined benefit retirement plan is a valuable recruiting tool for North Dakota job growth and provides stable retirement savings for our workers. Eliminating the plan will cost upwards of $5.5 billion dollars over the next 20 years, covered by taxpayers. We should be focused on investing in our pensions, not eliminating them, which is why we oppose House Bill 1040.
- SB 2239 aims to invest in our current defined-benefit pension plan and preserve a popular benefit for under $1 billion. On the other hand, the three bills above that intend to close the plan and replace it with a defined-contribution plan would cost $5.5 BILLION over 20 years. More than five times the cost! Not only does SB 2239 maintain and invest in our defined-benefit pension plan, it is also clearly the more fiscally responsible choice. North Dakota United supports Senate Bill 2239.
- Click here to learn more about pensions.
Ensuring that public money supports only public institutions and that only public employees provide public services.
- HB 1532 will establish an “education reimbursement program” that would divert public funds from public schools to private schools. It would require superintendents to pay private schools, when requested by the parents, a sum equivalent to the qualified education expenses, but not more than 30 percent of the student’s cost of attendance. State legislators are asking that $24 million dollars over the next biennium be put into this education reimbursement program. That is $24 million dollars going to private education rather than our public school systems and institutions, which are already operating with limited resources. NDU opposes HB 1532.
Securing a long and lasting investment by the State of North Dakota 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.
- North Dakota United and many allied organizations supported Senate Bill 2301, which would have established a $36 million childcare stabilization program to assist with funding of childcare worker salaries. This bill passed through the Senate, but failed in the House on a 14 yea, 78 nay, 2 not present vote. While this is a disappointing result, we will continue fighting for solutions to North Dakota’s childcare crisis inside and outside of the legislative session.
Along with the above legislative priorities, North Dakota United is monitoring over 150 bills of interest. We would like to highlight the following:
- HB 1329: Reduces the number of years needed for a teacher to be eligible for a lifetime teaching license from 30 to 20 years. North Dakota United supports this bill.
- HB 1446: This bill would attack faculty tenure and due process rights at Bismarck State College and Dickinson State University and would set a dangerous precedent. NDU opposes this bill.
- Concerned about this bill? Use our form to email the Senate Education committee here!
- HB 1491: Broadens the eligibility of free school lunch to public school students. NDU supports this bill.
- HB 1494: Eliminates school lunch shaming practices in public schools. NDU supports this bill.
- SB 2247: Relating to training involving “specified concepts” at institutions of higher education. NDU opposes this bill.
- SB 2360: Book ban bills that would target public libraries and prosecute librarians. NDU opposes this bill.
- Act in solidarity with the North Dakota Library Association! Tell legislators to vote NO here!
The information and key issues are constantly changing during the legislative session. If you have questions about bill numbers, ways to get involved, or any other questions related to the legislative process, you can email us at email@example.com.