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UND President Mark Kennedy, left, and NDSU President Dean Bresciani speak to reporters about Senate Bill 2282 in Bismarck. Sydney Mook / Forum News Service

University research bill fails in North Dakota House

BISMARCK — The North Dakota House has rejected a bill that would have dedicated a certain percentage of Legacy Fund earnings to the state’s research universities.

The House voted against Senate Bill 2282 by a vote of 62-30 Wednesday, March 20.

The bill, introduced by Sen. Ron Sorvaag, R-Fargo, would have transferred 15 percent of Legacy Fund earnings to an economic diversification research fund that would support work by the University of North Dakota and North Dakota State University. The fund would have a $45 million cap. The bill passed the Senate with a 43-4 vote, but hit a roadblock in the House Appropriations Committee late last week when it received a “do not pass recommendation.”

Rep. Mike Nathe, R-Bismarck, spoke against the bill on the House floor Wednesday. He said there are other bills in the Legislature that deal with funding for research that have already been passed by the House.

Multiple legislators spoke in favor of the bill, including Rep. Thomas Beadle, R-Fargo, who said the two research universities already receive significantly less funding than many research schools in the country. He also added the other research bills in the Legislature total less than $2 million.

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