House says OK to free college credits for seniors
BISMARCK -- The North Dakota House voted 65-29 to allow older North Dakota residents to earn college credit for free. House Bill 1385 permits North Dakota residents 65 and older to attend any undergraduate class at the state's public colleges wit...
BISMARCK -- The North Dakota House voted 65-29 to allow older North Dakota residents to earn college credit for free.
House Bill 1385 permits North Dakota residents 65 and older to attend any undergraduate class at the state's public colleges without paying tuition and fees.
The ability to join a class would be limited to if there are open seats remaining after regularly admitted students sign up. The bill does not apply to online classes.
These students would not have to demonstrate the academic achievements normally required of students.
Rep. Lonny Winrich, D-Grand Forks, expressed concern about this, saying academic prerequisites are important in many fields, especially sciences.
He said older North Dakotans can now audit classes for free with an instructor's permission, allowing some control of whether someone is prepared for the material.
Supporters have said the bill is a way to give back to the state's older residents and for colleges to build relationships with senior citizens.
The original bill included residents 55 and older, but was increased to age 65 to have minimal fiscal impact.
The bill now moves on to the Senate.
Property tax appeals
The House also approved a bill on Thursday relating to appeals of property tax assessments.
House Bill 1284 requires written notice within 10 days of a board of equalization rejecting an assessment change. The notice must explain the next steps a person can take in the appeal process.
Rep. Dave Weiler, R-Bismarck, said the bill will help communication since the public doesn't always know the process for appeal.
The House approved the bill on an 87-7 vote. The bill now moves to the Senate.
The state Senate unanimously approved a bill for an eating disorder training program.
Senate Bill 2354 requires the state Health Department to establish a program to assist in early recognition and intervention of eating disorders.
The program must be consistent with standards and practices of one or more nationally recognized organizations dealing with mental health and eating disorders.
The bill also asks for a study of eating disorders in the state. It now moves on to the House.
The state Senate unanimously approved a bill asking for a legislative study of election laws, campaign contribution and expenditure reporting requirements, and reporting of legislative travel and financial interests.
The bill now moves to the House.
Finneman is a multimedia reporter
for Forum Communications Co.