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Our Opinion: City legislators fare well in Chamber report

North Dakota's business climate fared well during the 2017 session of the North Dakota Legislature, according to a report card issued recently by the Greater North Dakota Chamber. In particular, several lawmakers from Grand Forks were lauded by t...

North Dakota's business climate fared well during the 2017 session of the North Dakota Legislature, according to a report card issued recently by the Greater North Dakota Chamber.

In particular, several lawmakers from Grand Forks were lauded by the GNDC as being "Chamber Champions" for voting in line with the GNDC's hopes of maintaining, clarifying and improving North Dakota's "business-friendly climate."

In the briefest form, the bills the GNDC supported included:

HB 1028: Regarding a sales and use tax exemption used in the construction of wind-powered electrical generation (failed).

HB 1045: The angel fund investment tax credit (passed).

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HB 1047: An income tax credit for purchases of manufacturing machinery (failed).

HB 1139: Joint employer liability protection (passed).

HB 1163: Repealing Sunday closing laws (failed).

HB 1164: Corporate income tax credit for reimbursement of child-care expenses (failed).

HB 1197: Asbestos bankruptcy trust transparency (passed).

HB 1255: Creation of a large truck primary highway network (passed).

HB 1390: Water board members and permits (passed).

HB 2044: Dynamic fiscal impact analysis of certain development incentives (passed).

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HB 2048: Workers' comp attorney fees (passed).

HB 2135: Creation of an initiated/referred measure study commission (passed).

HB 2152: Public employment hiring practices (passed).

HB 2199: Out-of-state businesses performing disaster work (passed).

HB 2298: Sales/use tax collection obligations of certain out-of-state sellers (passed).

HB 2327: Transfer of duties of the Department of Health (passed).

The bills the GNDC opposed were:

HB 1130: A provider assessment for nursing facilities (failed).

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HB 1223: Allowing employers to purchase private worker's comp coverage (failed).

HB 1260: Unemployment insurance and labor disputes (failed).

HB 1262: A study of workforce safety and insurance (failed).

HB 1263: Raising the minimum wage (failed).

HB 1264: Nonresident tuition (failed).

HB 1265: The number of nonresident students admitted to state colleges (failed).

HB 1372: A wind generation tax (failed).

HB 1434: Public employee retirement insurance coverage of autism services (failed).

HB 2305: Corporate income tax credits and child-care expenses (failed).

HB 2314: Evaluation of sites and routes and energy planning (failed).

Today, the Herald neither endorses nor condemns Grand Forks lawmakers for their votes, but simply notes how they fared in the GNDC report card.

In the House, Republican Emily O'Brien voted in line with the GNDC's platform 90 percent of the time. Others were Republican Jake Blum, 88.3 percent; Republican Mark Owens, 83.5 percent; Republican Steve Vetter, 83.1 percent; Republican Richard Becker, 82.5 percent; Republican Mark Sanford, 82.5 percent; Democrat Lois Delmore, 65.8 percent; and Democrat Corey Mock, 61.7 percent.

In the Senate, Grand Forks Republicans Lonnie Laffen, Scott Meyer and Curt Kreun all voted in line with the GNDC 91.9 percent of the time. Sen. Ray Holmberg was at 81.1 percent.

O'Brien, Blum, Laffen, Meyer and Kreun all specifically were applauded by the GNDC in its annual "Report on Business" magazine.

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