Common Schools Trust Bill Dies a Quick Death in North Dakota House

Rep. Larry Bellew (R - District 38) speaks during debate on HB 1525, which would have utilized the Common Schools Trust Fund for building and maintenance of K-12 public schools. The bill was defeated. (Photo via screenshot.)

A proposal to change the way in which the building and maintenance of K-12 schools in the state are done died a quick death in the North Dakota House today. I first wrote about House Bill 1525 last month. That was followed up by a guest article on the topic and then another on the School Lands Board taking the lazy way out by not submitting a true fiscal note on the bill to the House Education Committee.

After seeing the fiscal note fiasco and how the committee handled the bill with a Do Not Pass recommendation, it came as no surprise today when it was defeated by a vote of 17-75. As Rep. Larry Bellew (R – District 38) — who was also the primary sponsor of the bill — eluded to in his comments on the floor today, HB 1525 wasn’t exactly represented fairly in the way it was carried to the floor. I won’t bother going over all the specifics of the bill. I’ve given them to you in previous articles. But suffice it to say that the vast majority of our state lawmakers are satisfied with the status quo in education funding— which means continuing to pillage property owners.

There are some important points to be had from the comments made on the floor today. But I think those can be addressed in the much larger picture of education funding and property tax going forward. And I most certainly hope to do that.

For now, if you’re interested, you can view the floor debate here. Otherwise, forget about true property tax relief, because this legislature isn’t interested in providing that anymore than they are true local control over education.



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About T. Arthur Mason 883 Articles
T. Arthur Mason is a native North Dakotan who has spent nearly all of his life in the Peace Garden State. As the third of four children in Western North Dakota, Mason grew to appreciate family and the outdoors. Some of his fondest memories are annual deer hunts with family and friends. In his early teenage years, faith became a central part of T. Arthur Mason's life. He and the majority of his family attend church together on a weekly basis and find this a fulfilling aspect of their lives. Through the influence of his father, T. Arthur Mason became intrigued with politics. As a boy, he attended political events with his father and enjoyed the friendships that resulted as a byproduct of those political associations. As Mason grew older, he became convinced that the quote often attributed to Thomas Jefferson was true, "That government is best which governs least." Today, T. Arthur Mason enjoys time with his wife and children, an occasional hunt, and an increasingly active life on the political scene. This blog is the fulfillment of a dream to design a web site in the realm of politics and to advocate for the principles of Liberty and constitutionally limited government. On behalf of all those that contribute to The Minuteman, we hope you enjoy your time on the site and will share the message with others.