for District 31
by Rep. Karen Rohr
Monday we begin the first full week after crossover. At crossover the House passed 351 of 545 bills and the Senate passed 269 of 359 bills. We also counted 33 days in session. Below is a summary of interesting bills and concurrent resolutions heard in committee this past week.
House Human Services Committee
SB 2347: This bill would create a Medicaid Fraud Control Unit in North Dakota. This unit would be housed under the Attorney General’s office and would be charged with investigation of Medicaid fraud claims in conjunction with the Department of Human Services. The committee heard testimony from the Department of Human Services and the Attorney General’s Office about how the unit would be organized. The Attorney General’s office stated that North Dakota is the only state without a Medicaid fraud control unit. North Dakota has previously been able to operate under a waiver from the federal government but at this time it is not believed that another waiver will be granted. The committee heard testimony about the potential consequences of not implementing a unit which could include a reduction in federal funding. No committee action was taken.
HCR 3050: House Concurrent Resolution 3050 would study the child support system in North Dakota. The House Human Services committee heard testimony from father’s who pay large portions of their monthly paycheck in child support even though they share equal parenting time with their children. The fathers who spoke stated they felt wronged by the system as some of them have had to drain their savings in order to pay child support. The director of the Child Support Division of the Department of Human Service spoke in a neutral capacity as it was only a study but stated that he would not be in favor of changing the current child support system. The House Human Services committee has not acted on HCR 3050 at this time.
House Government and Veterans Affairs Committee
HCR 3047: House Concurrent Resolution 3047 directs Legislative Management to consider studying state and federal veterans’ programs, the programs’ eligibility requirements to ensure all current and future North Dakota veterans receive the care, assistance and benefits to which the veterans are entitled. The bill received a Do Pass recommendation 10-4.
HCR 3045: This resolution considers studying a merge of three agencies; specifically, the ND Game and Fish, ND State Parks and Recreation, and Highway Patrol to see the potential benefits and efficiencies under one administration. The bill received a Do Not Pass recommendation 8-6.
HCR 3049: This concurrent resolution amends the constitution to allow the legislature to call themselves into special session for 5 days in the case of federal law changes or budget adjustments separate from the 80-day regular session limit. The bill
received a Do Not Pass as amended by 8-6.
SB 2033: This bill, as amended in committee, codifies existing practice that allows initiated measures committee members to ask a legislator to request services from Legislative Council to write the measure. The measure’s intent may not be changed. No committee action was taken.
SB 2130: This bill considers a study of all state agency fees in coordination with the state auditor’s performance review of fees which should conclude by December 2019. The bill received a Do Pass 13-0.
SB 2195: This bill would appropriate $250,000 for the burial fees of veterans’ spouses and dependents at the ND State Veterans’ cemetery. No committee action was taken pending information from the Veterans Fund.
This concludes my summary for week nine of the 66th Legislative Session. In my next update, I will provide you with the number of bills that will be heard in the House Human Services and Government and Veterans Affairs Committees. If you have any questions or comments, you may contact me by leaving a telephone message at 1-888-635-3447 or by email, firstname.lastname@example.org. Stay warm and enjoy your week.