One week in, lawmakers are in full-swing at the 2013 legislative session.
With more than 600 bills to address in the House and Senate combined, voters will want to be sure their voices are heard.
The Minot Area Chamber of Commerce is once again hosting the Saturday morning Legislative Forums --- a question and answer style format for the community and legislative representation.
Today, Senator Karen Krebsbach addressed a question regarding Senate Bill 2176 --- which in its original proposal designated $1.8 billion dollars for the department of transportation for the construction and maintenance of state highways.
She says that dollar figure was reduced by $800 million to 'fast track' the bill.
(Senator Karen Krebsbach, (R) District 40) "We want to get this money out so that they can do the bidding for the spring projects if not, they don't get clearance on that until later in the year and we have a short season for construction in North Dakota and we want to be sure to take advantage of that timeline."
Taxes are also addressed in several House and Senate bills this session --- including one House bill that would create a sales tax rebate formula based on SALES --- not population as it is now.
Representative Roger Brabandt says property tax relief is also a topic receiving a lot of attention.
(Representative Roger Brabandt, (R) District 5) "Since 2009 there's been tax relief to the tune of $2.1 billion dollars. Not only in property tax but in corporate income tax. 2.1 billion since 2009 and more coming."
The legislative forums will continue through the 2013 session.
They are open to the public Saturday mornings at 9 a.m. in the Norsk Room of the North Dakota State Fair Center.