North Dakota Bankers
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March 20, 2023 - Update

March 20, 2023 - Update

Posted: Mar 20 2023

This Week at the Legislature

As of Friday (3/17) morning, the revenue forecast for the 2023-2025 biennium has been adopted by each of the appropriations committees. Here’s the upshot. The general fund—supported by sales tax, income tax, and others—will be about the same as predicted in January. This amounts to a total of $5.15 billion in expected general fund revenue for the next biennium (up $33M from the January projection). Oil tax revenue, however, will be down from the January projections. Specifically, the appropriations committees adopted a forecast of 1.1M barrels of oil per day for the upcoming biennium at a price of $70/barrel the first year of the biennium and $62/barrel for the second year of the biennium. These lower projections amount to $116M less revenue than they thought would be available in January. This amounts to a total of $5.1 billion in oil and gas revenue for the 2023-2025 biennium.
Now that the budget benchmarks have been adopted, the legislature will be looking back into the myriad of proposals that overspent the budget the first half. Major points of discussion will include jockeying of income and property tax relief, pension solvency and related state contributions to the plan, capital projects (many in higher education), health care, and education.
Some policy committees are wrapping up bill hearings. That means they are kicking out bills for consideration by each chamber, which makes for longer floor sessions—including at least one evening floor session in the House next week. And before we know it, conference committees will be appointed to reconcile bills passed in one chamber and amended in the other.

Hearings and Other Action Last Week (3.13.23 - 3.17.23)

HB 1082 – UCC Amendments Relating to Digital Assets
As reported in last week’s Legislative Update, the Senate passed HB 1082 by a 34-12-1 margin. Introduced at the request of the Commission on Uniform State Laws, HB 1082 address transactions largely involving emerging technologies, such as virtual (non-fiat) currencies, distributed ledger technologies, and, to a limited extent, artificial intelligence within the Uniform Commercial Code. Over the weekend, Senators were hearing from some constituents the HB 1082 created a Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) and made Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin illegal. This misunderstanding of what HB 1082 did cause a few Senators to want to reconsider their vote. Monday afternoon, Sen. Estenson moved to reconsider the bill with the purpose of sending it back to committee for further consideration. That motion failed and the bill moved from the Senate onto the Governor for consideration. This week, the Governor’s office was receiving calls to veto the bill because of the misunderstood effect of the bill. Many supporters of the bill meet with the Governor’s staff explaining what the bill did and didn’t do. Most notably, the bill does not create a CBDC and does not make cryptocurrency illegal. In fact, with the addition of the new Article 12 and Controllable Electronic Records, the UCC will provide clarity and certainty when dealing with Bitcoin and many other electronic assets.
HB 1107 – Regulation of Real Estate Appraisers
The Senate Workforce Development Committee brought up HB 1107 for committee work Friday morning. HB 1107 was originally introduced at the request of the ND Real Estate Appraiser Qualifications and Ethics Board and was intended to update the regulatory oversight statues governing North Dakota Appraisers. The bill was amended in the House by removing AMC (Appraisal Management Company) appraisal review restrictions and adding a specific exemption for the Bank of North Dakota allowing their continued property valuations and appraisal reviews for North Dakota financial institutions. During the work session, the committee asked questions of BND’s Kirby Evanger, DFI’s Lise Kruse and Chair of the Government Affairs Committee of the ND Appraisers Association Dean Rylander. Evanger and Kruse addressed the committee’s question regarding the term “appraisal reviews” under the BND exemption. There was confusion given appraisal review has a different meaning in the appraisal rules compared to banking regulation. The Committee resolved the issue by reversing the words to allow BND to continue to perform reviews of appraisals. Rylander was asked and spoke about the proposal of allowing appraisers to do evaluations. He noted that there was confusion when the bill was in the House and was not added. The committee discussed the idea, but in the end voted to send the bill out without the Appraiser Association amendment on a 5-0-1 Do pass recommendation. The bill now heads to the full Senate for consideration.

Hearings Next Week (3.20.23 – 3.24.23)

03/20/2023 09:30 AM   
HB 1133

Relating to statements of full consideration. 
Senate Industry and Business 

03/20/2023 02:30 PM   
SB 2210

Relating to individual retirement and employee benefit trusts. 
House Industry, Business and Labor 
NDBA Priority 

03/20/2023 02:30 PM   
SB 2295

Relating to the unsatisfied judgment fund and the assigned risk plan; and to repeal chapter 26.1-23 of the North Dakota Century Code, relating to the unsatisfied judgment fund. 
House Industry, Business and Labor 

03/20/2023 02:30 PM   
HB 1413

Relating to out-of-pocket expenses for health care services. 
Senate Human Services 

03/22/2023 08:00 AM   
HB 1379

Relating to an economic diversification research fund, a workforce development and enrichment fund, a legacy projects fund, a legacy projects advisory board, and a county and township bridge fund; to amend and reenact sections 6-09.4-10.1 and 21-10-13 of the North Dakota Century Code, relating to the legacy sinking and interest fund and the legacy earnings fund; to provide a report; to provide an appropriation; to provide a contingent appropriation; and to provide an effective date. 
Senate Appropriations 

03/23/2023 09:00 AM   
HB 1485

Relating to legislative assembly conflict of interest rules; to provide for application; and to declare an emergency. 
Senate State and Local Government 

03/23/2023 10:30 AM   
HB 1503

Relating to ownership of real property and commercial assets by foreign adversaries; to provide for a legislative management study; and to provide an expiration date. 
Senate Agriculture and Veterans Affairs 

03/24/2023 10:00 AM   
HB 1158

Relating to the imposition of a flat income tax rate of one and one-half percent for individuals, estates, and trusts; and to provide an effective date. 
Senate Appropriations 

How to Contact Your Legislators

During a legislative session, a legislator can be reached at the State Capitol through: Otherwise, a legislator can be reached by mail, telephone or email at the address listed in the legislator’s biography, or one of the lists provided below. Individual legislator contact information is listed here:

Over the course of the session, NDBA may ask you to call your Senator or Representative to talk to them about a particular bill or to ask them to support or oppose a particular bill.

Legislator contacts from local bankers are extremely important, so, please, if we ask, contact your legislators!

Also, local legislative forums are great to attend because they inform you about issues beyond banking and let you get to know your legislators at home where they are most responsive to your interests and concerns.

Don’t be a stranger; get to know your representatives in Bismarck!

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