And NDU is, too!
The 15th Special Session of the North Dakota State Legislature kicks off tomorrow with an address by Governor Jack Dalrymple. It is expected that he will expound on his and the Republican leadership’s plan to balance the 2015–2017 budget. The plan, released mid-afternoon on Monday, is this:
- Impose an allotment of 2.5 across the board cuts in all general funded state agencies. This will put $152M back on the books.
- Hold the Department of Corrections and the Department of Human Services harmless.
- Draw $75M from the Budget Stabilization Plan.
- Draw $44.3M from the Foundation Aid Stabilization Fund to hold K-12 education harmless.
- Reclaim $100M from the Bank of North Dakota.
The special session is likely to be a one agenda affair. Senate Majority Leader Rich Wardner, in whose chamber the bill will get its start, is adamant about not prolonging the session unnecessarily, going so far as to say that he wants to avoid “any kind of a conference committee.”
However, there will be a series of reports given in the Senate Education Committee. K-12 reports will be given on Tuesday morning and Higher Education reports will be heard on Wednesday morning. I’ll will let you know the nature of the reports each day as part of report to you.
This is a very important session. Decisions made by agency heads will undoubtedly have an effect on each of our constituency groups. Public employees are extremely concerned about whether or not they will receive their promised raises or whether furloughs or layoffs are on the horizon. Chad and I will be at the Capitol on your behalf continuing our work of raising awareness among legislators that your work is vital and that their cuts will have immediate and long lasting implications.
Please check back here tomorrow, Wednesday and Thursday for more details on the 2016 Special Session.