2022-01. Shelter Care Support. Research strongly supports treating youth who are considered “Children in Need of Services” (i.e., runaways or ungovernable behavior) but have not otherwise committed a crime with a different approach than the traditional arrest and detention. Such youths should be provided a safe shelter but not co-housed with youth who have committed potentially serious crimes.  However, such separation causes additional expenses to counties and other local governments. This Association supports additional State funding to ensure shelter care is fully funded on a reimbursable basis for counties from the time such youth is placed in the shelter care facility. New Resolution

2022-02. Support for and Study of Clerk of Courts Structure. The North Dakota Association of Counties recognizes the importance of the Clerk of Court offices throughout the State of North Dakota as a point of public access to the Court system. This system has been in place since approved by the 1999 North Dakota Legislature. NDACo remains committed to keeping the existing contract Clerk of Courts offices in the employ of the counties under current law, as per Chapter 27-05.2 of the North Dakota Century Code. NDACo believes that all existing Clerk of Court offices are a valuable resource to the general public in the counties in which they serve. The transition of contract county offices to State offices, without further study, could potentially limit public access to the court system and create a substantial financial impact to the State and county. The Association supports the current clerk structure and request that the Legislature authorize an interim study of the Clerks of Court to receive full input and effect that would be occasioned by changes made to existing law. New Resolution

2022-03. Public Health Funding. A robust public health system is imperative to all North Dakota citizens. The recent pandemic highlights the personal sacrifices those in the public health sector are willing to undertake to keep citizens safe. However, public health is increasingly called on to perform many services which stretch resources thin. Additionally, based on the historical nature of how health units were created and the potential disparity in political subdivision funding, health services are subjected to funding uncertainties. This Association supports identifying public health core services and requests the legislature study the delivery of public health services to ensure the overall operation and funding mechanisms are in place to carry out this important mission. New Resolution

2022-04. Support for North Dakota North Dakota’s Coal Industry. Coal-based power plants generate more than 60 percent of the electricity consumed in the state, and export additional power throughout the upper Midwest. This baseload capacity is vitally important to maintaining the reliability of the electric grid and is crucially important for the State’s residences and industries. The association supports legal, regulatory and financial solutions that will for all energy resources maintain baseload generation assets and integrity of the electrical grid. New Resolution

2022-05. Law Enforcement training fund. Law Enforcement is an essential function of Government. Well trained and educated officers are critically important for the safety and well-being of all North Dakota citizens. Political subdivisions bear the expenses for students to attend the Law Enforcement Training Academy which upon successful completion of their training allows them to perform law enforcement functions in their communities. However, many officers after short periods of time move onto larger law enforcement agencies which places an undue burden on the smaller jurisdictions to continuously pay for training. This association supports the creation of a State funded law enforcement training academy fund to relieve counties from this fiscal burden. New Resolution

2022‐06. Human Service Zone Team Member Equity Compensation. North Dakota Counties recognize that human service zone team members are county employees yet are subject to state appropriations for operational costs including salary and host-county offered benefits. In addition, North Dakota Counties recognize the Department of Health & Human Services and the Legislature’s outstanding commitment to social services redesign and the development of human service zones. Understandably, such significant changes require further adjustments over time as additional information becomes available. For efficient and effective administration, total compensation equity across the entire human service delivery system must be improved. This association supports legislative efforts and the accompanying funding to provide equity across all human service zones. New Resolution

2022-07. NDSU Extension Service Support.  NDSU Extension is recognized as providing valuable services for the citizens throughout North Dakota.  The Extension funding model represents a valuable partnership between the State and Counties with the State supporting agent’s salaries while the county supports staffing and other direct and indirect costs. However, over the years the State’s salary contribution for agents has not kept pace with other costs creating inequalities. This Association supports increased State contributions for Extension Agents. Update of Resolution 2018-10

2022-08. Centrally Assessed Property Valuation.  Counties are required to issue estimated tax notices by August 31st which include preliminary budget data for all political subdivisions. Certain properties are not assessed at the local level and require the State Tax department to work with those property owners to provide the actual value to the county. Counties, and all other taxing entities, depend on the accuracy of centrally assessed properties when computing their budgets. Therefore, it is paramount this information is complete and reported to counties by July 1st. This Association urges the strengthening of the valuation process for centrally assessed properties so that accurate values are established and delivered to counties in a user-friendly format utilizing taxing district information prior to preliminary budgets being set in order to achieve the greatest level of taxpayer fairness. Update of Resolution 2018-09

2022-09. Statewide Interoperable Radio Network (SIRN). As the SIRN project continues its buildout across the state of North Dakota local jurisdictions are realizing an increased cost for the equipment required. Currently, the state provides a $1500 cost reimbursement for radios. The cost of radios in greater than first estimated in addition law enforcement are required to utilize radios with encryption these factors have increased the financial commitment for local government. Currently less than 25% of the radios have been purchased by local government. This Association recognizes the need for all emergency responding agencies to utilize the equipment for the vitality of this project. Therefore, this Association encourages additional State support for radio units that have previously been purchased for the program as well as for future radio purchases. Additionally, past experiences with upgraded radio projects have created gaps in coverage specifically in rural areas. This Association requests at least a 90% coverage guarantee in all counties before such a system can be fully implemented. Update of Resolution 2020-10

2022-10. Behavioral Health. Lack of behavioral health and chemical dependency treatment programs or access to transportation to existing programs places a significant burden on county services. Behavioral Health services need to be available in all areas of this State including rural areas outside of the population centers. County jails should not be de facto behavioral health service providers. This Association supports increased State funding for fair and competitive compensation for State behavioral health professionals, for the delivery of behavioral health services for the Department of Human Services and the Department of Corrections, and to preapproved private behavioral health providers to ensure those seeking help or those on probation/parole have access to substance abuse and mental health services. Update of Resolution 2019-05

2022-11. Support for NDSU Extension Parenting Classes. District Courts have recognized the value of ordering certain individuals to receive parenting classes which NDSU extension is able to provide. However, counties are in many instances responsible for offsetting much of this cost. This Association supports additional State funds to support Court ordered NDSU Extension parenting classes.71 New Resolution

2022-12. Gross Production Tax Road Mill Requirement. North Dakota’s oil and gas resources are not subjected to property tax and are instead subjected to tax at the State Level. Historically, those taxes are shared with the local political subdivisions through the Gross Production Tax formula under NDCC 57-51-15. However, counties are required to levy 10 road mills in order to receive their share of the revenue regardless of whether such funds are needed. This Association supports the elimination or reduction of the GPT road mill levy requirement. New Resolution