December 6, 2021

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Burgum reveals $15 billion budget proposal for ND | Local News Stories

Calling it fiscally conservative, among other adjectives, North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum revealed his $15 billion budget proposal for 2021-2023 to the state’s legislature.

The budget plan, the Republican said, holds the line on general fund spending, invests in priorities and maintains healthy reserves and does not raise taxes.

“After identifying budget cuts and funding source changes and reprioritizing spending, the result is an executive budget proposal that reduces ongoing general fund spending by $61 million,” Burgum’s office stated. “Overall general fund expenditures would decrease slightly by about $8 million, to $4.836 billion, due to one-time investments.”

The $15 billion budget would come from general, federal and special funds, Burgum stated. It would be an increase from the current $14.7 billion budget with the inclusion of $550 million in appropriations for infrastructure. That money is included in a $1.25 billion bonding package.

“To help bridge a gap in ongoing general fund revenue, the executive budget proposes a transfer of $240 million from the state’s rainy-day Budget Stabilization Fund, which was fully replenished this biennium,” Burgum’s office continued.

A total of $83 million would be transferred from the Foundation Aid Stabilization Fund to keep North Dakota’s K-12 per-pupil payments at $10,036 each through the 2021-23 biennium.

State Superintendent Kirsten Baesler said she is pleased that per-student payments will be maintained.

“During his entire administration, Gov. Burgum has been a stalwart friend to K-12 education,” Baesler said. “Both he and our state legislators want what is best for our North Dakota students and their families. We will study the governor’s plan with that in mind.”

The North Dakota Department of Public Instruction will work with legislators on ideas including a bill promoting civil education and patriotism education in schools, Baesler said.

Democratic-Nonpartisan League leaders, meanwhile, expressed concern about support for working families.

“(Doing so) through paid family leave, childcare and rental assistance (would) address some of the most pressing concerns for North Dakotans most affected by the pandemic while also supporting economic growth,” the party stated.

Josh Boschee, state House Minority Leader, said investments in entrepreneurs and research are important for economic diversity.

“We ultimately can’t meet this goal without comparable investments in working families through paid family leave and assistance for rent and childcare,” he said. “A sprinkle of support in these few areas where the market struggles to meet demand would mean a world of independence for working families and create a strong base for the North Dakota economy.”

The legislature’s regular session opens Jan. 5, 2021, the same day as Burgum’s State of the State Address. Look to Daily News and News Monitor for coverage of the session and its effect on District 25, District 26 and North Dakota.

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