Saturday marked the two-year anniversary of Gov. Doug Burgum being sworn into office alongside Lt. Gov. Brent Sanford, giving the governor a chance to reflect on the substantial progress made toward fulfilling the administration’s purpose for state government: to empower people, improve lives and inspire success.
The year began with great optimism but also brought challenges – namely crafting a balanced budget one year after reducing the state’s general fund by an unprecedented $1.7 billion, or 28 percent, and addressing the state’s workforce shortage.
Burgum responded by announcing a new approach to the budgeting process in April, resulting in 57 strategy review sessions with agencies and institutions to find efficiencies, reinvent processes and encourage greater collaboration. Burgum asked agencies to submit base budget requests with reductions of 5 percent or 10 percent depending on agency size, and to reduce FTE levels by 5 percent.
The strategy review process identified more than $107 million in general fund savings, and $101 million was strategically reprioritized for new and ongoing initiatives.
“With the experiences of the past two years and a vision for the future, Lt. Gov. Sanford, Kathryn and I look forward to continuing the growth and innovation that will empower people, improve lives and inspire success for all North Dakotans,” Burgum said.
Burgum will deliver his third State of the State address to a joint session of the Legislative Assembly at 1 p.m. Jan. 3 in the House of Representatives chamber at the Capitol.