Monday begins the 52nd day of the 66th Legislative session. Since crossover, the House Human services committee has heard 41 bills and 6 resolutions; Government and Veterans Affairs have heard 29 bills and 5 resolutions.
Legislative News for District 31 by Representative Karen Rohr
Below is a summary of interesting bills and concurrent resolutions heard in committee this past week.House Human Services Committee
SB 2225: Relates to familial duty to support for county welfare. This bill would change the current system that is used for nursing homes to collect overdue bills. Currently, the law allows for family members of the nursing home resident to be sued in order to collect overdue bills. This is allowed even if the family member received no monetary support from the family member who resided in the nursing home. The committee heard testimony from many family members involved in the situation that were forced to pay large bills after their loved one has passed away. The committee gave this bill a Do Pass recommendation with a 14-0 vote.
SB 2210: This bill would allow medical marijuana facilities operating in ND to increase the amount of marijuana plants they are able to grow at the facility. Currently the law only allows for 1,000 plants to be grown at a facility. Pure Dakota LLC who operates the medical marijuana manufacturing facility in Bismarck testified that they would like the flexibility to go over 1,000 plant maximum in order to meet the needs of the patients. The committee voted a Do Pass recommendation 11-3-1 vote.
SB 2113: The bill would allow residents of nursing homes to place a camera inside their residence. The electronic monitoring would be used in order for family members to check in on their loved ones and monitor concerns they may have. The bill received support from the ND Long Term Care Association and other stakeholders. Concerns about the bill were voiced regarding privacy for the resident’s roommate and HIPAA concerns. The bill was amended to address HIPAA concerns and was passed out of committee on an 8-6-0 vote.
SCR 4007: House Concurrent Resolution 4007 seeks to urge US Congress and the Food and Drug Administration to end e-cigarette marketing to youth. Testimony indicated that these products are addictive to your and are not subject to the same marketing restrictions as traditional tobacco products. Juul Labs, one of the main e-cigarette makers, testified in support of the resolution and stated they are working hard to ensure that their products are not marketed to minors. The resolution received a Do Pass recommendation on an 11-1-2 vote.
House Government and Veterans Affairs Committee
SB 2110: Relates to cybersecurity. This bill addresses cybersecurity threats in the states ITD. On average the state of ND defends against 5.7 million cyberattacks per month. This law ensures cyber security best practices across the state information technology network. The bill was amended to define cybersecurity strategy and was then given a Do Pass recommendation 11-0-2 vote.
SB 2256: Relates to the required form for measures to amend the constitution and the manner of placing the measures on the ballot. This bill increases the number of words that describe a constitutional measure on the ballot from 250 to 500 words. The committee voted 9-2-3 to Pass recommendation
SB 2221: Relates to exempting records of communications between legislators and public employees from open records law. This bill clarified that communication records possessed by members of the legislative assembly are exempt from open record between the legislator and the public agency or public employee. The bill was amended back to its original format and given a Do Pass recommendation out of committee by a vote of 11-1-2.
This concludes my summary for week twelve of the 66th Legislative Session. This past week I was privileged to have students from Flasher High School join me during the floor session. Know that I appreciate all your phone calls and emails regarding upcoming legislation. If you have any questions or comments, you may contact me by leaving a telephone message at 1-888-635-3447 or by email, email@example.com. Happy Spring! Respectfully submitted