North Dakota Legislature: Pension plan bill heads to Governor, private school, speed limit bills fail

Photo by: North Dakota Legislative Branch
Photo by: North Dakota Legislative Branch

(Bismarck, ND) -- More big decisions being made in Bismarck as the legislative session winds down.

A bill aimed at closing off access to the North Dakota public employees' pension plan to new hires is headed to Governor Doug Burgum's desk.

The bill would put new hires in a defined-contribution plan similar to a 401(k) starting in 2025. A Senate bill that sought to preserve the pension plan was killed by the House. Both bills were intended to address the future of the pension plan's unfunded liability of nearly two-billion dollars.

In the meantime, Governor Burgum's veto of a school voucher bill has survived a House vote.

The state House failed to override Burgum's veto of a bill that would have allocated ten-million dollars in state funds to subsidize private education. Burgum said the bill lacked "public transparency and accountability standards."

And North Dakota's interstate speed limit won't be changing this legislative session after all.

The state Senate defeated a revived proposal Tuesday that would have increased the interstate highway speed limit from 75 miles per hour to 80 miles per hour. Governor Burgum rejected a bill last month that would have made the change citing his administration's Vision Zero initiative to reduce traffic deaths. The renewed measure was added as an amendment to a bill that would have updated speeding fines that failed to pass.