North Dakota’s 2015 legislative session is fast approaching cross-over, and members of the Senate and House have been actively engaged in hearings, and weighing in on numerous bills. The bill of most interest to assistive technology users across the state is SB 2289.
In a nutshell, this bill is requesting funding for the purpose of supporting and maintaining assistive technology services provided by IPAT for the elderly and people with disabilities. The funding request will be used to offset the 12% decrease in IPAT’s overall funding level, and to expand the state’s capacity to deliver AT services, especially in the western counties.
The bill was introduced on January 19, 2015. Following its introduction, a hearing Chaired by Senator Judy Lee, and attended by the full membership of the Senate Human Services Committee was held. This occurred on January 26, 2015, and a DO PASS voice vote of 5-1 was recorded. The bill was then sent to the full Senate Appropriations Committee.
On February 2, 2015, a hearing was held before the membership of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Chaired by Senator Ray Holmberg. Following this hearing, the bill was referred to the Senate Appropriations Sub-committee working on bills linked to the Department of Human Services. This Sub-committee is Chaired by Senator Ralph Kilzer, and committee members include Senator Robert Erberle and Senator Tim Mathern. SB 2289 is scheduled to be heard by this sub-committee at 2:30 pm February 12, 2015.
We will keep interested North Dakotan’s updated through our blog, so check back to follow the progress of SB 2289 as it makes its way through the 64th Legislative Assembly.