Surprises at Burgum’s 2023 State of the State
BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - Governor Doug Burgum made a historic announcement in his State of the State address Tuesday.
Perhaps the biggest thing we learned Tuesday afternoon was related to the Theodore Roosevelt Presidential Library: the project received a $50 million donation from oil magnate Harold Hamm, who was in attendance as a special guest.
Beyond that, Governor Burgum set the stage for a few big issues the Legislature will have to tackle.
Both experienced and brand-new lawmakers gathered to listen to the governor speak about the state of North Dakota.
”We can grasp this moment and make a positive difference, not just for our citizens in our state, but for our nation,” said Burgum.
In the middle of a winter with record-breaking precipitation, he announced legislation that would provide $20 million in emergency snow removal grants for the state.
”As state leaders, we have an opportunity to act quickly to relieve pressures across the state. Let’s make this relief bill one of the first bills to reach my desk,” said Burgum.
While some of the Governor’s priorities will likely earn widespread support, Democratic lawmakers say there was a lot that went unaddressed.
”I wish I would’ve heard more about the real realities facing many North Dakotans, including the childcare crisis, what our plans are for housing and food insecurity that we’re seeing an increase of, and access to affordable healthcare,” said Representative Josh Boschee, D-Fargo.
Burgum talked about his plan to cut income taxes for 60% of North Dakotans.
”To make our state a more attractive, affordable place to live and give an advantage to where we compete as workers, we can and should adopt the lowest flat-rate income tax in the nation,” said Burgum.
But that’s a concern for Democrats.
”The greatest concern is it takes $500 million off the table right away. North Dakotans aren’t complaining about their income tax, they’re complaining about their property tax. And that’s the opportunity we should focus on,” said Rep. Boschee.
Lawmakers will begin hearing bills Wednesday.
Governor Burgum talked at length about what he’s calling a historic opportunity for lawmakers: a general fund revenue that’s exceeding the forecast by 23%, and oil tax revenue that’s projected to be the second-highest in state history.
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