By Kyle Wanner, Director
Read more on this session in the Director’s Chair notes from Spring 2020 issue of the Quarterly.
- HB 1006 – Aeronautics Commission Budget Bill: This bill provides funding for on-going expenses and operations of the Aeronautics Commission as well as the authorization for the utilization of general and special funds for airport infrastructure grants. At the time of article submission, the state legislature was also considering additional one-time infrastructure grants to help provide funding for certain airport projects until the availability of the “operation prairie dog” funds in early 2021.
- HB 1066 – Oil Revenue Infrastructure Bill – “Operation Prairie Dog”: As described in the previous article – this legislation created new “buckets” of state funds that are projected to fill from future oil tax revenues. The newly created funds are currently authorized to fill to $250 million per biennium in total, distributing up to $115 million to cities, $115 million to counties and townships and $20 million for airport infrastructure.
- HB 1018 – Department of Commerce Budget Bill: This bill provides funding for on-going expenses and operations of the Department of Commerce. At the time of article submission, the state legislature was also considering funding for the operations of the Northern Plains Unmanned Aircraft Systems Test Site and the allocation of one-time funding to install a statewide Unmanned Aircraft Systems radar infrastructure network.
- HB 1356 – Public Improvement Bidding Threshold: This bill changes the threshold for when a political subdivision (such as an airport authority) is required to utilize a professional engineer to construct public improvements. The current threshold is $150,000 and at the time of article submission, the state legislature was considering changes to this threshold up to $200,000.
- SB 2275 – Infrastructure Loan Program: This bill would have allowed communities to utilize a low-interest loan program from the Bank of North Dakota for certain critical infrastructure projects that included airport infrastructure. At the time of article submission, similar language from SB 2275 was being discussed and potentially included within HB 1014 and still had an opportunity to be considered.
- SB 2180 – Transportation Network Companies: This bill would have allowed airports to contract individually with transportation network companies.
- HB 1184 – Relating to Eminent Domain: This bill would have taken away the authority of political subdivisions (such as an airport authority) to utilize the quick take option within eminent domain proceedings.