Legislative Update: State Board of Higher Education Positions

February 2, 2015

During the Legislative Session, the State Board of Higher Education follows many bills that may have an impact on the higher education institutions in North Dakota and their students. Since the Board only meets once a month, the chancellor is empowered by the Board to act on its behalf and request ratification at the next Board meeting according to SBHE Policy 304.1. This gave him the ability to work with NDUS staff to recommend positions on proposed legislation and testify on behalf of the Board between the time that the Legislative Session began (January 6) and the date of the Board meeting (January 29) ensuring that the legislators are receiving timely information.

Below is a summary of the active bills that the North Dakota University System is tracking, a short description and the Board’s official position on each as approved at its January 29 meeting. Click the bill number to see the full text of the bill.

 Click here to watch the full discussion on the legislative bills from the January 29 Board meeting. 

Bill No. Description SBHE Position
 HB1003  NDUS appropriation bill  SUPPORT
HB1013 Land Dept. appropriation bill.  Includes state land income distributions to NDUS; $4M of appropriation to NDUS campuses located in oil producing counties SUPPORT
HB1014 Industrial Commission appropriation bill.  Includes $16,033,942 in one-time funding for UND Core Library expansion; NDUS bond and energy conservation bond payments; $4.5M from lignite research fund for non-matching lignite marketing feasibility studies; continues housing assistance program SUPPORT, UND Core Library and NDUS bond payment funding
HB1018 Dept. of Commerce appropriation. Includes $1.5M base and $1.5M one-time funds for workforce enhancement fund; $8M for Research ND; $2,718,620 one-time funds for unmanned aircraft system; $1.5M one-time for base retention grants; $6M one-time for tribal community college grants; authorizes transfer of any remaining 2013-2015 Centers of Excellence funding to the Research ND fund; expands internship program to also include educators. SUPPORT, Workforce enhancement and Research ND funding
HB1019 CTE appropriation bill.  Includes $707,452 base funding for post-secondary grants; $4M in base funding for workforce training SUPPORT, post-secondary grants and workforce training funding
HB1020 NDSU Ag Research and Extension appropriation. SUPPORT
HB1021 ITD appropriation bill.  Includes $10,033,401 funding for longitudinal data system; $9,533,666 in base funding for Center for Distance Education SUPPORT, SLDS, network and security funding
HB1025 Dept. of Veterans Affairs appropriation bill.  Includes transfer of State Approving Agency from NDUS. SUPPORT, transfer SAA funding
HB1043 (introduced by Higher Education Funding Committee)  Provides $2.5M general fund appropriations to freeze two-year campus tuition rates SUPPORT,  if amended with full $2.767M
HB1044 (introduced by Higher Education Funding Committee)  Provides $30.69M in general fund appropriations to increase state grant award limit from $1,650 to $2,000; Provides $17,246,748 in general fund appropriations to increase ACA/CTE scholarship from $1,500 to $2,000/year or $6,000 to $8,000 total, beginning with 2014-15 graduates SUPPORT
HB1045 (Introduced by Higher Education Funding Committee)  Requires private postsecondary institutions to notify SBHE or CTE of any changes in accreditation status.  Also, requires private institutions to notify current or potential students if a program or course complies with certification requirements of the appropriate professional board in the state. SUPPORT
HB1051 (introduced by IT Committee)  Requires all of NDUS to receive email services through one consolidated system operated by the SBHE.  Requires all emails to be retained for five years.  Clarifies that NDUS is included in state’s record retention policies. NEUTRAL
HB1052 (introduced by IT Committee)  Requires NDUS CIO, rather than Commissioner to coordinate with ITD and report to IT Committee. SUPPORT
HB1080 Increase employer and employee contribution rates to PERS Hybrid Plan (Main) and Defined Contribution Hybrid retirement plans by 1% each, effective 1/1/16. SUPPORT, increase in employee retirement contribution rates
HB1127 (introduced by SBHE)  Changes resident student definition to include any discharged veteran with at least 90 days (as opposed to current 180 days) of active service and deceased veteran’s spouse and children consistent with the new federal requirement. SUPPORT
HB1128 (introduced by SBHE)  Changes contractor filing requirement from NDUS to construction manager at risk. SUPPORT
HB1131 Removes exemption for veteran’s preference in hiring for School Superintendent, Chancellor, Vice Chancellor, Presidents, Vice Presidents, Provost, athletic coaches, instructors, etc. OPPOSE
HB1139 (introduced by SBHE)  Revenue bonds related to DSU Woods Hall SUPPORT
HB1151 Requires one-half of one percent of any Challenge Grant award be allocated to Governor’s Office; permits President’s designee to present proposal to committee; and eliminates the use of Challenge funds for new construction. SUPPORT
HB1157 Permits an elected official possessing a valid concealed weapon license to have a firearm in a public building. OPPOSE, unless amended to exempt NDUS facilities
HB1182 Increases the public bid for public improvements and architect/engineering specifications from $100,000 to $150,000. NEUTRAL
HB1195 Permits concealed weapon by a licensed individual on school property, with approval of the governing board. OPPOSE unless amended to exempt NDUS facilities
HB1201 Provides $4,800 in general fund appropriations to SBHE for commendatory grants to eligible faculty members for use of technology — $500/year to a faculty member at UND; $500/year to a faculty member at NDSU; $500/year to a faculty member at one of the regional institutions (DSU, VCSU, MaSU or MiSU); $500/yr to a faculty member at one of the two-year institutions (BSC, DCB, LRSC, NDSCS, WSC). SUPPORT
HB1233 Appropriates $29,693,232 in general funds to the NDUS to freeze tuition rates during 15-17 biennium at all campuses. SUPPORT
HB1244 Permits the use of sick leave for state employees during first 12 months following birth or adoption, limited to a total of 12 weeks. OPPOSE, unless amended
HB1261 Permits the carryover of $5M performance funding pool appropriated in 13-15; further, permits $1M of the $5M to be used for open educational resources grants, including to faculty. SUPPORT
HB1301 Expands use of family sick leave and family leave to include employee’s sibling, mother-in-law, father-in-law, grandchild, grandparent or stepparent. NEUTRAL
HB 1303 Would shift tuition and fee setting authority from SBHE to legislature. OPPOSE
HB1319 Provides a sales tax exemption for purchase of tickets or admissions to athletic, musical or dramatic events at institutions of higher education. SUPPORT
HB1402 Exempts hiring records for certain NDUS positions (Chancellor, Vice Chancellor, President, Vice President, athletic coaches, etc.) from open records until finalist stage. WATCH
HB1426 Increases threshold for architecture and engineering services from $100,000 to $500,000 for a public improvement project. OPPOSE
HB1435 Permits Attorney General to assess a fine of $500 to a member of a governing board who has violated open meeting, open records laws. OPPOSE
HB1442 Prohibits executive branch agencies (except OMB as it relates to budget bills) and judicial branch from introducing legislation, other than through request of a legislative committee or through a legislator. OPPOSE
HB1444 Prohibit state entities, including NDUS, from terminating contracts for service if, as a condition of early termination, the state would be legally required to pay for services that are no longer desired. OPPOSE
HB1450 Modifies possession of a firearm in certain public places (musical concerts and athletic events) to require a “ticket for admission.” OPPOSE, unless amended to exempt NDUS facilities
HB1453 Restrictions on collection and dissemination of K-12 student information. OPPOSE
HB1461 Requires ND not participate in smarter balance consortium and prohibits use of state resources in support of common core standards. OPPOSE
SB2013 DPI appropriation bill.  Sections 1 and 15 provide $200,000 in base funding for a higher education interpreter grant program through the School for the Deaf. SUPPORT, interpreter funding
SB2015 OMB appropriation bill.  Includes $10M one-time funding for ACA health insurance pool; $14.7M one-time funding for energy impact pool; Section 14 state employee compensation guidelines SUPPORT, ACA funding
SB2023 Deficiency appropriation.  Includes $2,000,579 to MiSU for flood expenses; $50,000 to WSC for boiler and roof repair; and $3,542,000 to VCSU for demolition of retired science building ($152,000) and Valley City local share of flood protection ($3.3M). SUPPORT
SB2074 For ACA/CTE Scholarship eligibility, requires credits for external experience, along with other enrolled credits, total at least 12. SUPPORT
SB2075 For ACA/CTE Scholarship, clarifies that scholarship does not apply to graduate programs; but, does permit full four-year scholarship if student enrolls in graduate program after completing only three or fewer years of an undergrad program. SUPPORT
SB2089 For ACA Scholarship, permits high school course requirements to be met through college early entrance. SUPPORT
SB2133 (introduced by SBHE) Exempts addresses and telephone numbers of students and individuals communicating with public entities from open records requirements. SUPPORT
SB2134 (introduced by SBHE) Exempts all Chancellor and Presidential evaluation records, except the final evaluation, from open records law; permits executive session for hire/dismissal of Chancellor. SUPPORT
SB2150 Permits students/student organizations involved in a disciplinary proceeding to be represented by attorney. NEUTRAL, providing amendments
SB2158 Permits tax credit for charitable gifts for qualified endowment to be aggregated for purposes of a $5,000 minimum contribution if under a single qualified nonprofit organization. SUPPORT
SB2159 Authorizes sale of existing Dickinson Ag Research property and purchase of new property. SUPPORT
SB2160 Creates a health information hub office at ITD; creates an executive committee which includes Chancellor/designee and UND School of Medicine and Health Sciences Dean/designee; appropriates $1.9 million in general fund to ITD. SUPPORT
SB2171 Permits entering into a contract for general, electrical or mechanical work, where no bid is received, without rebidding. SUPPORT
SB2201 Provides $15M in state general fund to Dept. of Commerce for grants to research institutions for research and development related to energy resources. SUPPORT
SB2203 A single prime bid, instead of multiple prime bids, for projects costing less than $5M would be allowed. SUPPORT, with amendments
SB2233 Requires subcontractor bids to be publicly opened. SUPPORT
SB2246 Increases public improvement construction bid threshold from $100,000 to $250,000. OPPOSE
SB2258 Would require family leave, not to exceed more than 12 weeks in any 12-month period to be paid leave. OPPOSE, unless amended
SB2264 Requires $4.3M of the $5M performance funding pool to be transferred to DCB for dormitory and student center renovation projects. OPPOSE
SB2268 Prohibits state employee from participation in interstate organization if participation requires (or may) require an expenditure of public funds or a change in state laws, unless legislatively authorized. OPPOSE
SB2279 Amends Human Rights and Insurance provisions to prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation. SUPPORT
SB2281 Requires a tuition reduction for child care provider or spouse, child, sibling or grandchild equal to $3 for every hour that individual provided child care in the state.  The bill does not contain an appropriation. OPPOSE, unless funded
SB2288 Appropriates $5M from student loan trust fund to establish new GAP scholarship program at BND. SUPPORT
SB2326 Expands duties of the state longitudinal data system committee to include access to data, data protection practices, retention, data breach notification, privacy audits, and annual training. SUPPORT
SB2330 Requires student ID’s to include date of birth, address and distribute info to students on voter eligibility requirements. OPPOSE
SB2348 Automated External Defibrillator training SUPPORT