Legislative week ahead

The Higher Education Committee and Higher Education Roundtable members will meet Monday and Tuesday in the House Chamber. Monday’s agenda begins at 9 a.m. CT and includes out-of-state speakers discussing higher education funding.

There will also be discussion regarding potential goals and expectations of the North Dakota University System, including methods to measure success in achieving the goals.

Tuesday’s agenda begins at 8:30 a.m. CT. The meeting includes roundtable discussion regarding higher education topics discussed at previous Higher Education Committee meetings.

There will also be a presentation by a representative of the University System of the 2009 Accountability Measures Report.

Also Tuesday, the Administrative Rules Committee meets at 9 a.m. CT in the Roughrider Room of the state Capitol. The meeting includes presentations by the Attorney General’s Office, State Gaming Commission, state Health Department, Game and Fish, the Board of Pharmacy and the Public Service Commission.

On Wednesday, the Workers’ Compensation Review Committee meets at 9 a.m. CT in the Harvest Room of the state Capitol. Meanwhile, the Taxation Committee meets at 9 a.m. in the Roughrider Room in the Capitol.

On Thursday, the Energy Development and Transmission Committee meets at 9 a.m. CT in the Roughrider Room in the Capitol. Also Thursday, the Judicial Process Committee meets at 9 a.m. CT in the Harvest Room in the Capitol.

Full meeting agendas can be found at www.legis.nd.gov/council/interim/meetings.

Boucher’s Williston trip

News release from the Dems about ag commissioner candidate Merle Boucher’s trip to Williston today:

Today Merle Boucher visited local agriculture processing plants and spoke with residents at Grandma Sharon’s in Williston stressing the importance of both value-added agriculture and the need for agriculture and oil development to work hand in hand, not at odds.

Boucher toured local processing plants and was very impressed by the businesses. “We need more processing in North Dakota—processing plants create jobs and the value added to the product stays here in the state instead of going to processers out of state.”

He also spoke about oil development in the Williston area and how the state must work toward making production agriculture and energy development compatible.

“Recently I spent several days in the western parts of the state visiting with people in Stanley, Parshall, New Town, Watford City and Killdeer. What I heard from folks in my travels were quite troubling to me.”

“I heard that many local farmers, ranchers, and citizens feel that their interests and needs are being pushed aside to move oil development forward.”

“None of the folks wanted to stop oil development. They simply were frustrated that their concerns were being ignored. They said their attempts to make their issues known to the State Industrial Commission were ignored.”

“We need to acknowledge that much of the oil drilling and development is happening on agricultural and privately-owned land. Communities where this is taking place were developed and built by several generations of local farm and ranch families, business owners, and workers. These people have paid taxes for several generations to build the local infrastructure that facilitate today’s development.”

“The land has blessed the people of North Dakota. From the land we have built a strong agricultural economy and from this same land we have the potential to do the same in the energy field. We need to work to make this happen in ways that are compatible and respectful to those who are here now and for future generations to come.”