Republican Legislators Talk Budget, Higher Ed Cuts, DAPL and Hopes for President Trump

Politics and Plate was held for legislators to tackle and discuss important issues in North Dakota

FARGO, N.D. — It just might be every Republican’s favorite way to spend the noon hour.

Lunch…with a side of politics.

The United Republican Committee hosted “Politcs and a Plate” at the Holiday Inn and invited the public to talk with lawmakers about their concerns.

Issues regarding medical marijuana, behavioral health needs and autism insurance were just a few of the topics that were discussed.

“The big issues flowing around the chamber and the capitol are not necessarily the same as the big issues that people back home care about,” said State Representative of District 27, Thomas Beadle.

Legislators even weighed in on the hottest topic of discussion for months.

They talked about the Dakota Access pipeline and how it has affected the lives of more than just the protesters.

“Our law enforcement and the efforts they’ve made in this state in the last year in an extremely difficult situation that they’ve been put in the middle of in no choosing of their own,” said Senator of District 45, Ronald Soorvaag.

But the biggest concern of the day was higher education budget cuts.

“I want people to understand we are taking this seriously,” said Sen. Soorvaag. “Cutting is no fun and people are being laid off. It’s a serious issue.”

The lawmakers reassured those who were concerned that a revised revenue forecast will be coming out in about two weeks and that will help dictate the budget.

“In terms of K-12 funding, social services funding, mental health funding, higher education funding, it all falls back to the revised revenue forecast,” said Rep. Beadle.

They also explain the importance of community engagement and how their questions shape how they go about their changes.

“We work for the citizens,” said Sen. Soorvaag. “That’s what we do. That’s our job.”

These Republicans are also looking forward to what President Trump has to say during his first address to Congress Tuesday night.

“Okay now, President Trump, we want to see where you are on certain issues. We want to know the direction we’re headed to go and we need to get some of the animosity behind us in terms of the fake news media and all that sort of stuff,” said Rep. Beadle.

Legislators are on their mid-session break.

The session will resume on Wednesday.

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