Jamestown (CSi) . CSi Legislative Report for Districts 12 & 29 aired live on CSi 67 Sat. The Report will replay on CSi TV 10 – The Replay Channel starting again Tuesday morning.
The Jamestown Area Chamber of Commerce held the District 12 and 29 Legislative Report held at City Hall on Saturday morning.
Moderated by Pam Phillips legislators in attendance were: District 12: Senator John Grabinger,Representatives, Bernie Satrom, Jim Grueneich, and District 29: Senator Terry Wanzek Representatives Chet Pollert & Craig Headland.
Topics addressed from audience questions included
Long term plan for foundation Aid for Education
How much in the budget shortfall is due to past tax breaks
Concerns about DOT shop closures, funding cuts
Public Employee PERS increased premiums to those in plan.
Armed First Responders in schools
Renassaince Zone Revisions
State’s minimum wage
Long term plan for foundation Aid for Education:
Grabinger: Being funded lower than previous levels
Pollert: $16 million budgeted to shore up the shortfall
How much in the budget shortfall is due to past tax breaks:
Satrom: Last ten years spending was tripled
Pollert: Dollars spent from oil boom revenues
Wanzek: Since the last session, commodity prices are lower, oil exraction tax revenues are lower. He suggested not to increase taxes during tough economic times.
Concerns about DOT shop closures, funding cuts:
Grabinger is against, saying the plan is flawed
Wanzek: Legislature was unaware in first half of session, and introduced amendment to delay closures, and to make a study.
Headland: Testify when it comes to senate
Public Employee PERS increased premiums to those in plan:
House is looking at a competitive bid process, the changes implemented by the unelected PERS board.
Grabinger: No Need to change
Armed First Responders in schools:
Wanzek: A Gunman in school is a reactive situation, rural schools are isolated, concerning law enforcement response time.
Grabinger: Opposed to the bill
Headland: Voted in favor saying a gunman looks for a gun-free school
Pollert: voted in favor
Satrom: The issue is a local school district option
Grueneich: Wants students protected
Renassaince Zone Revisions: (Eliminate income tax breaks)
Headland: Voted against
Grueneich: Voted in favor, saying the state needs to taken out of that aspect, adding that it will reduce burden on tax payers
Satrom: Voted for change, saying the program should be left to local political subdivisions to address.
Pollert: voted against changes
State’s minimum wage:
Grueneich: The market determines a businesses minimum wages, adding North Dakota has one of the lowest unemployment rates, in the nation.
Satrom: Employers create demand
Grabinger: State’s current minimum wage is too low.