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Proposal would return money to ND residents

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Posted: Monday, February 11, 2013 10:27 am

House Concurrent Resolution 3032 was introduced Wednesday, relating to constitutional authorization for the Legislature to provide direct payments to North Dakota residents.

The resolution states the Legislature may “provide by law for direct general allocations of state funds to North Dakota resident individuals upon eligibility terms and conditions established by law.” It also states the allocation must be a uniform amount for each individual and may “not be subject to conditions based upon the individual’s property holdings or value, earnings, assets or age.”

HCR 3032 states the Legislature must also establish a minimum period of continuous residency in the state before moving forward with an allocation. The residency period must be more than one year.

The terms of HCR 3032 would be put on the ballot for the 2014 General Election.

Reps. Marvin Nelson (D-Rolla) and Larry Bellew (R-Minot) are the sponsors of the bill.

Other Legislature news:

• House Bill 1385 was heard by the House Human Services Committee, relating to drug tests for individuals applying for North Dakota welfare.

A person who produces a positive test for a controlled substance would become ineligible to receive welfare for one year after the date of the positive test. A second failed test would make the individual ineligible for three years.

Reapplication, however, could happen after six months if documentation of completion of a substance abuse treatment program is presented.

An individual can only apply for reapplication after a failed test once.

The bill states the cost of the test is the responsibility of the individual. The department must provide notice of drug test and in the event of a negative test, the department will increase the initial benefit amount to cover the cost of the test.

The bill will require both parents of a two-parent family to be tested, the same with a teen parent who is not required to live a with a parent, legal guardian or caretaker.

The bill was introduced by Rep. Dennis Johnson (R-Devils Lake). It is co-sponsored by Reps. Mike Brandenburg (R-Edgeley), Curt Hofstad (R-Devils Lake), Nancy Johnson (R-Dickinson), Keith Kempenich (R-Bowman), Chet Pollert (R-Carrington), along with Sens. Tom Campbell (R-Grafton), Oley Larsen (R-Minot) and Margaret Sitte (R-Bismarck).

• House Concurrent Resolution 3031 was introduced Tuesday, which would direct Legislative management to study special enforcement measures in high-fatality zones on state highways. The study would look into areas of highways that have had high accident and fatality rates, many caused by speeding and unsafe or prohibited passing.

Legislative management, under the resolution, will see if it is necessary to implement higher traffic fees, camera enforcement, public lists of violators, employer notification or other actions to reduce injuries and deaths caused by traffic violations.

• Senate Bill 2345 was heard Wednesday by the Senate Human Services Committee, which would create penalties for the exploitation of disabled adults or vulnerable veterans. It would make penalties a Class A felony  if the value of funds, assets and property exceeds $100,000; a Class B felony above $10,000 but under $100,000 and a Class C felony above $500 but under $10,000.

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