Burgum to Legislators: "The agenda presented here is work worth doing"

Gov. Doug Burgum | Screenshot via NDLegis.gov
Gov. Doug Burgum | Screenshot via NDLegis.gov

(Bismarck, ND) — North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum kicked off North Dakota’s special legislative session Monday morning with a State of the State message.

“We are here today because a long-standing legislative process has been deemed unconstitutional,” he said to the joint session of the North Dakota House and Senate. “Without action, there is no appropriations authority to pay our OMB team members on November 1.”

The North Dakota Supreme Court struck down the Office of Management and Budget’s bill, citing its multiple subject nature.

Burgum reflected on the importance of the work the Legislature does.

“Today marks the 17th special session of our state’s 134 year history,” he said. “It’s my honor to address this special convening of the 68th legislative assembly.”

Burgum stressed the importance of using tax dollars wisely.

“We should ensure that any tax dollars used have a high return on investment,” he said.

Burgum worked with legislative leaders and other lawmakers to propose $91 million in income tax relief, which would be supported by excess revenue from the 2021-23 budget, which ended with a general fund ending balance in excess of $1.488 billion.

“There is plenty of cushion for the general budget,” he said.

The state moving towards a zero income tax state “will help North Dakota compete,” the Governor said. “Workforce continues to be the state’s biggest barrier for economic growth.”

Burgum said ended saying, “The agenda presented here is work worth doing.”