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N.D. Capitol notebook: Teachers want funding bill vetoed

BISMARCK -- The teachers' union wants the governor to veto the school funding if it doesn't include additional state-paid teachers' raises. "The 8,000-plus members of the North Dakota Education Association have spoken," NDEA President Gloria Lokk...

BISMARCK -- The teachers' union wants the governor to veto the school funding if it doesn't include additional state-paid teachers' raises.

"The 8,000-plus members of the North Dakota Education Association have spoken," NDEA President Gloria Lokken said Monday. "And, they want Gov. John Hoeven to veto the school funding bill if money is not dedicated for teacher pay."

The vote was at the 2003 NDEA representative assembly Saturday in Bismarck. Some 123 delegates representing more than 8,000 members across the state unanimously directed the NDEA leadership to publicly ask for the veto.

Hoeven had asked the Legislature this year to increase teacher pay by $1,500 over the next two years, on top of sustaining a $3,000 raise passed by the 2001 Legislature.

The Legislature's education bills contain a section continuing the 2001 raises but references to Hoeven's requested additional $1,500 were not approved by either the House or Senate. The bill, Senate Bill 2154, is currently in conference committee.

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Exchange that license

The House gave final passage Monday to a bill that allows the state Department of Transportation to make it easier for new North Dakotans to get a driver's license.

Senate Bill 2149 is a so-called DOT cleanup bill that covers a lot of technical material on issues of reciprocity with other states.

But it also contains a section that for the first time allows DOT to let people moving here exchange their valid licenses from another state for a North Dakota license without taking a written test.

The House voted 93-0 to pass the bill.

The bill now goes to the governor. If signed into law, it will take effect Aug. 1.

It's not dead

The House has reconsidered its defeat of an all-encompassing adoption law rewrite.

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On Thursday, the House, disagreeing with Senate amendments, killed House Bill 1035. Opponents of the Senate version said it could cause invasion of privacy of genetic parents who don't wish to be found by children they gave up for adoption.

But the House Monday revived the bill and sent it back to conference committee with the Senate.

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