The North Dakota Senate approved an amendment to an oil tax restructuring bill and re-referred it to appropriations during its Friday floor session.
Two abortion-related bills scheduled for Friday also were moved to Monday’s floor session.
An amended version of Senate Bill 2336 came before lawmakers. Sen. Dwight Cook, R-Mandan, outlined the amendments to SB2336.
One change in SB2336 would require an annual recertification of wells on stripper well properties. It also changes the definition of a stripper well as one producing an average of 40 barrels of oil per day, up from 30. The original bill had moved it to 45.
There also was a change in when the state’s oil extraction tax would be lowered from 6.5 percent to 4.5 percent. The original date in SB2336 was Jan. 1, 2017. The amendment would allow the reduction to occur on the first day of the next quarter after oil production reaches 1 million barrels per day for three consecutive months.
Another change would go back and change stripper well status for Bakken and Three Forks wells on stripper well properties drilled during the 2011-13 biennium. A well drilled and completed after June 30, 2011, would not be exempt from the oil extraction tax. Any well on a stripper well property exceeding 150 barrels of daily production according to annual certification by the state Industrial Commission wouldn’t be eligible until it meets stripper well qualifications.
Cook said the amended fiscal note on SB2336 puts the positive fiscal impact at more than $35 million. This is up from approximately $28 million in its original form.
After Cook outlined the amendments, the Senate voted to approve the amendment and re-refer to the bill to the Senate Appropriations Committee.
The Senate later approved an amendment to SB2368. The bill defines a human being as a person at all stages of development. It also would allow an abortion in the event of a medical emergency that could endanger a woman’s life
Sen. Spencer Berry, R-Fargo, told his colleagues that the changes primarily dealt with cleaning up redundant language, most of which is already found in the state’s Abortion Control Act.
After a brief debate on the amendment, it passed and the amended SB2368 was brought to the floor for a final vote.
Shortly into the debate, a couple of Senate Democrats noted that they were unable to find the version of the amended version of the bill on their computers. A motion was then made to place SB2368 and SB2303, another abortion-related bill, at the bottom of the day’s calendar. From there another motion was made to move the two bills to Monday’s calendar. The motion to place the bills on Monday’s calendar was approved.