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These are among bills and concurrent resolutions heard in committee last week.

Senate Bill 2347 would create a Medicaid Fraud Control Unit housed under the attorney general’s office and charged with investigation of Medicaid fraud claims in conjunction with the Department of Human Services. The House Human Services Committee heard testimony from the Department of Human Services and AG’s office about how the unit would be organized. The AG’s office stated that North Dakota is the only state without a Medicaid fraud control unit. The state has previously been able to operate under a waiver from the federal government, but it is not believed another waiver will be granted. The committee heard testimony that consequences of not implementing a unit could include a reduction in federal funding. No committee action was taken.

House Concurrent Resolution 3050 would study the child support system in North Dakota. The House Human Services Committee heard testimony from fathers who pay large portions of their paycheck in child support even though they share equal parenting time with their children. The fathers said they felt wronged by the system as some have had to drain their savings in order to pay child support. The director of the Child Support Division of the Department of Human Service spoke in a neutral capacity as it was only a study but stated that he would not be in favor of changing the current child support system. The committee took no action.

House Concurrent Resolution 3047 directs Legislative Management to consider studying state and federal veterans programs and their eligibility requirements to ensure current and future North Dakota veterans receive the care, assistance and benefits to which they are entitled. The bill received a do-pass recommendation, 10-4 , from the House Government and Veterans Affairs Committee.

Also heard by the House Government and Veterans Affairs Committee:

HCR3045 considers studying a merger of three state agencies, Game and Fish, Parks and Recreation and Highway Patrol, to see the potential benefits and efficiencies under one administration. The bill received a do-not-pass recommendation, 8-6.

HCR3049 amends the state’s constitution to allow the Legislature to call itself into special session for five days in the case of federal law changes or budget adjustments separate from the 80-day regular session limit. The bill received a do-not-pass as amended, 8-6.

Senate Bill 2033, as amended in committee, codifies existing practice that allows initiated measures committee members to ask a legislator to request services from Legislative Council to write the measure. The measure's intent may not be changed. No committee action was taken.

SB2130 This bill considers a study of all state agency fees in coordination with the state auditor's performance review of fees which should conclude by December 2019. The bill received a do-pass, 13-0.

SB2195 would appropriate $250,000 for the burial fees of veterans’ spouses and dependents at the North Dakota Veterans Cemetery. No committee action was taken pending information from the Veterans Fund.

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Rep. Karen Rohr, R-Mandan, is acting chair of the House Human Services Committee and serves on the Government and Veterans Affairs Committee. She can be contacted at kmrohr@nd.gov or by leaving a message at 888-635-3447.

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