The largest hearing room in the State Capitol was packed for the House Appropriations hearing on SB 2103 otherwise known as the "Surge" bill. The $1.1 billion infrastructure funding bill has passed the Senate and is now in the hands of House Appropriations committee members. Chairman Delzer had requested information prior to the hearing from numerous cities and counties especially in western ND. They provided specific information on their needs and shovel ready projects. Those who testified stressed importance of getting the bill passed before the end of February in order to make use of 2015 spring construction season. DOT and commissioners stressed that early funding could save millions state funding. The earlier projects are bid the more competitive they are in price, becoming more affordable for local jurisdictions. DOT and OMB requested funding for state highways, housing and BCI be amended into SB 2103. These items were included in the Gov's Jumpstart bill which was killed in the Senate. Senators did include $300 million for state highways into 2103. DOT Director, Grant Levi, says $450 million is needed. Amending the bill could add delays to getting the bill passed fast.
Check out these pictures from the hearing: