Gov. Burgum says ND is “full of boundless opportunity” at State of the State

The Governor talked about the current state budget, initiatives to improve the state and suggests how to invest in Legacy Funds

GRAND FORKS, N.D. — With strong agricultural and energy resources and a growing population, Governor Doug Burgum painted North Dakota as an optimistic place to be during his 2020 address.

“The state of our state today is that it is strong, it’s growing and it’s full of boundless opportunity,” Burgum explained.

After a revenue shortfall that nearly drained the state’s rainy day fund, North Dakota’s finances are finally starting to get back on the right track.

“We have reduced the general fund budget by over a billion. In that same time frame, we have increased teacher and state employee pay, we have made key infrastructure investments, we have reduced property taxes and we have done all of this without raising taxes,” said Burgum. “We have been able to stabilize the states finances and begin to start rebuilding our reserves.”

The State’s budget isn’t the only area the Governor would like to see improve.

Burgum outlined five initiatives the state plans to take in order to build a better North Dakota. This included reinventing the government with the help of better technology, transforming education in grades K-12, better assisting those with behavioral health and addiction issues, increasing tribal partnerships and fixing the workforce shortage through Main Street Initiatives.

The Governor’s biggest focus was how to plan for future generations through the Legacy Fund. The current legacy fund has a balance of nearly $6.8 billion. Burgum proposes reinvesting half of that back into the fund itself.

“The question is how do you balance saving for the future and spending on things right now?” asked Burgum. “Let’s reinvest the other half. If you reinvest the other half of it, then we set ourselves on a path where in just a short thirteen years from now, we would have built up over a $26 billion legacy fund.

With the other half of the fund, Burgum suggests investing in three key areas: infrastructure, property tax relief through growth incentives and transformational legacy projects.

Categories: Local News, North Dakota News, Politics / Elections