The North Dakota 64th Legislative Assembly came to a close on Wednesday, April 29, and in spite of one piece of unfinished business there were many accomplishments. The session began with uncertainty regarding future revenues and the legislature wrestled with how best to fund priorities without creating a budget deficit. In the end, the balance between budgets and priorities was achieved. Some of the highlights of the session are as follows: Once again further tax relief was a high priority and reductions were achieved in both property and income tax.
Last week the legislative interim committee on Energy Development and Transmission met in Bismarck and heard significant testimony on key energy related topics. Presentations by state department heads focused much attention on the impacts of the oil and gas development in North Dakota. The agenda included updates on flaring, pipeline regulation, transportation of crude oil, roads and bridges assessment, waste site permitting and overview, environmental incident remediation and reporting and emergency services. The information provided was lengthy and voluminous.