(Bismarck, ND) -- A big day for the future of North Dakota's infrastructure Wenesday.
Governor Burgum officially signed House Bill 1431, praising the $680 million bonding package as an economically sound tool to support infrastructure upgrades across North Dakota including flood control, roads, bridges, water projects and an agricultural facility – all with using Legacy Fund earnings and without raising taxes.
Joining Burgum for the signing were Lieutenant Governor Brent Sanford, the bill’s four sponsors – House Majority Leaders Chet Pollert, Senate Majority Leader Rich Wardner, Representative Jim Schmidt and Senator Ron Sorvaag – House Minority Leader Josh Boschee, Senate Minority Leader Joan Heckaman and Assistant Senate Minority Leader Erin Oban, fellow legislators and local government officials.
“House Bill 1431 is historic because it touches every corner of our state,” Burgum said, noting the bonding will free up capacity in the Resources Trust Fund to support water projects across the state. “With historic low interest rates, investing in infrastructure now is the financially conservative thing to do. We will save tens if not hundreds of millions of dollars for our state and political subdivisions over time versus waiting for years and paying cash. That’s just smart economics, and it’s going to save our taxpayers dollars.”
The $680 million bonding package includes:
- $510 million for two major flood control projects, including $435.5 million for the Fargo-Moorhead Area Diversion Project and $74.5 million for Minot area flood control.
- $35 million for state bridge repair and $35 million for the North Dakota Department of Transportation to leverage federal dollars to invest in North Dakota projects.
- $50 million for an infrastructure revolving loan fund to support cities and counties.
- $50 million to replace Harris Hall at North Dakota State University with an agricultural products development center.
Burgum noted the bonding package received strong bipartisan support and has a reliable repayment mechanism in the form of Legacy Fund earnings “so we can retire these bonds without raising taxes one single dollar.”
“This bill is a win for taxpayers and a win for current and future generations of North Dakotans who will benefit not only from having modern, safe and reliable infrastructure, but also from the economic benefits that it will bring in terms of helping to attract new businesses, jobs and talent,” Burgum said. “We’re deeply grateful to the bill sponsors and the entire Legislature for taking advantage of this historic opportunity to benefit the citizens of our great state.”