Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Governor Dalrymple Issues Budget Guidelines to State Agencies

Governor Jack Dalrymple has directed state agency leaders to develop budgets equal to 90 percent of their 2015-2017 appropriations for the next biennium. The governor also noted that due to the across-the-board cuts made in February, the current budget will remain balanced at the end of the biennium. 

“We begin work on the 2017-2019 budget in a much different environment than at this time two years ago. With tax revenues falling short of projections, we must find greater savings and efficiencies while continuing to provide high-quality services for the people of North Dakota.”

He suggests that many of the reductions identified during the 4.05 percent allotment could be continued into the next budget cycle, but agency leaders are not locked into the decisions they made to meet the allotment.

The governor stressed the importance of agency leaders finding efficiencies while still providing the essential services to the citizens of North Dakota.

The North Dakota Department of Human Services and the North Dakota Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation will not be strictly held to the 10 percent budget reduction because additional consideration must be given to services that impact public safety and the state’s vulnerable citizens.  

During the past two legislative sessions, lawmakers have focused the use of its strong cash reserves on one-time capital projects, allocating millions of dollars towards roads, water projects, and college campus improvements. 

“We have always said the day would come when large one-time investments in capital projects would no longer be possible. Ladies and gentleman, that day has come,” said Dalrymple. (Video clip below) 

In developing the 2017-2019 Executive Budget, Dalrymple said one-time expenses for capital projects will not be funded unless they are absolutely essential.

While Dalrymple will draft the budget and present it to lawmakers in December, essentially the person elected governor in November will have every opportunity to make changes to the recommendations prior to the 2017 Legislative Session.