Legislative Update

Jordan Kannianen

District 4 Senator

Family, friends, and neighbors,

The Finance & Tax Committee handled several bills this week that were of interest to our Native American tribes.

Bills that were defeated this week include SB 2314, which would have given tribes exclusivity with online gaming and sports betting, and SB 2315, which would have removed the restriction for off-reservation gaming locations. SB 2296 – which was also defeated – was brought forward by the tribes who contend their gaming industry has been harmed by eTabs. The bill would have taken a large bite out of eTabs and was ruled to be a step too far. For example, there are currently about 3,400 eTabs across the state, and the bill would have carved that number down to 2,000. 

SB 2318 would have adjusted the template in law for establishing a state/tribal alcohol tax agreement. None exist to date, and the disagreements were attempted to be addressed. That didn’t happen, and the bill was defeated. The main reason for pursuing an agreement is to avoid dual-taxation on retailers and wholesalers, but the business owners also want to avoid dual-regulation, and that is what couldn’t be agreed to by all parties. Therefore, the bill was defeated, and unfortunately no legislative action will happen this session on this issue. 

SB 2319 addresses straddle wells around the boundaries of the Fort Berthold reservation. It’s been amended to include a sunset clause if there’s no production on federal minerals in an attempt to benefit from those while the federal moratorium is in place. It received a 7-0 Do Pass as amended and awaits consideration on the floor. 

In Political Subdivisions Committee, one issue we’ve passed is to expand the allowed uses of mortgage modifications. These are documents that can be recorded that allow for adjustments in existing mortgages without having to go through the full application or refinance process. This can save borrowers time and money. 

Have a great week!

Jordan Kannianen, District 4 Senator

701.421.8813, [email protected]