Gov. Doug Burgum delivers 2021 State of the State Address
Burgum addressed a joint session of the 67th Legislative Assembly on the first day of its biennial session
BISMARCK, N.D. — Gov. Doug Burgum began his 2021 State of the State Address by acknowledging the challenges brought on in 2020.
“As North Dakotans, we’ve experienced much this past year,” he said. “Truly, an entire flock of black swan events, combining flooding, drought, an ongoing global pandemic, market crashes, historic rapid and huge economic contractions.”
Despite the challenges the state has faced, Burgum says he, along with the 67th Legislature, is optimistic about the opportunities that lie ahead for North Dakota.
He added that the state continues to rank in the top three nationally for COVID-19 testing and vaccinations per capita.
As of Monday night, more than 24,000 North Dakotans had received their first dose of the vaccine.
On Tuesday, state health officials reported 262 new COVID-19 cases for a daily positivity rate nearing 7%.
Seventeen more North Dakotans with the virus died.
The pandemic has tested our nation’s economy like no other recent event, but Burgum says North Dakota is in part ready to rebound and recover because it kept its economy open.
It currently has over 13,000 job openings and an unemployment rate lower than that of 38 other states.
Burgum also noted that North Dakota has invested more than $44 million to advance UAS research and development.
He says now is the perfect time to invest in the state’s future through historically low interest rates and a strategy of innovation over regulation.
“We have a historic opportunity to invest in infrastructure, diversify the economy, build healthy, vibrant communities, support research and innovation, transform government and build true legacy projects,” he added.
North Dakota continues to grow, with the Census Bureau estimating the state’s population at a record of 765,309 people as of July 1st.
“If you want to find heroes in our communities, it’s very easy,” Burgum said. “All you have to do is look because they’re basically everywhere.”
Among those heroes, Burgum says, are front line workers, grocery store clerks, and law enforcement.
Burgum also took a moment to recognize the family of Grand Forks Police Officer Cody Holte, who was killed in the line of duty last May.
“We’re honored to have with us here today Officer Holte’s wife, Mandy. She and her son Gunner can rest assured that Cody’s legacy of service will live on forever in the hearts and minds of North Dakotans, and that they have our everlasting support and deepest gratitude for his incredible, ultimate sacrifice,” Burgum stressed.
Officer Holte’s name will be inscribed on the Peace Officers’ memorial on the Capitol grounds.