Three bills that would prohibit UND from dropping its Fighting Sioux nickname and logo will get a joint hearing this Wednesday in the North Dakota Legislature.
But lawmakers also will be discussing funding for the state’s higher education institutions, including UND, and a proposed bill that would help speed development of a new Interstate 29 ramp on the southern edge of Grand Forks.
Here’s a look at this week’s legislative hearings that I wrote for Monday’s Herald. There are hundreds of bills that House and Senate committees are now discussing – to keep track of what legislators are up to and when they’ll hold hearings for certain bills, visit the North Dakota Legislature’s website and click on the House or Senate Committee Hearings link to find out more.
Several bills that would prohibit UND and the State Board of Higher Education from retiring the universityâ€™s Fighting Sioux nickname and logo will get a joint hearing this week.
The House Education Committee will discuss three separate bills at a 9 a.m. hearing Wednesday.
House Bill 1208, introduced by Rep. Duane DeKrey, R-Tappen, and House Bill 1257, proposed by Rep. David Monson, R-Osnabrock, would prohibit UND and the higher education board from retiring the nickname and logo unless the Standing Rock Sioux tribe refuses to grant permission through a tribal referendum.
House Bill 1263, introduced by House Majority Leader Al Carlson, R-Fargo, would prohibit UND from dropping the nickname.
UND President Robert Kelley was directed by the higher education board in April 2010 to begin the transition away from the 80-year-old nickname and logo.
- House Bill 1344, a bill introduced by Grand Forks region lawmakers last week that would speed along development of a new Interstate 29 ramp on the cityâ€™s 47th Avenue South, will get a hearing in the House Transportation Committee at 10 a.m. Friday.
If approved, the legislation would require the ramp be added to plans by the end of 2016 with no funding commitment.
- House Bill 1003, the higher education funding bill, will get several hearings this week in the House Appropriations Committee.
The bill includes $156.9 million for UND, $46.7 million for the universityâ€™s School of Medicine and Health Sciences, and $130.2 million for North Dakota State University.
The bill will be discussed at a 9 a.m. hearing today, while the UND School of Medicine funding will get a hearing at 2 p.m. Tuesday.
-Legislation that would freeze tuition at its current level for North Dakota University System institutions, including UND, will be discussed at a 10 a.m. hearing on Tuesday.
House Bill 1301 was introduced by Rep. Corey Mock, D-Grand Forks, and Sen. Mac Schneider, D-Grand Forks.
The bill proposes the state pay $26.5 million to the State Board of Higher Education to offset the financial impact of the tuition freeze, which would be in effect July 1, 2011, to June 30, 2013, if approved by legislators.