Friday, January 4, 2019

Governor Burgum Says ND at "Cusp" of New Era


“Today, the State of the State is that we stand at the cusp of a new era in North Dakota’s history,” Governor Burgum told North Dakota lawmakers, state officials and North Dakota citizens during his State of the State Address. His speech was filled with optimism.

“Right now, we can make smart, bold investments with long-lasting impacts --- while delivering a fiscally conservative and structurally sound budget that improves transparency --- replenishes reserves --- and does this all without raising taxes,” said Burgum.

The 33rd Governor highlighted several of North Dakota’s rankings that showcase the state’s potential. That one report ranks North Dakota as the best quality of life in the nation, and is one of five fastest growing states percentage-wise.

He continued listing achievements, “earlier this year we were ranked the best state for millennials, with our low unemployment ---affordable housing --- and nation-leading increase in wages since 2007. And North Dakota again made the list of 10 Best States to Start a Business.”

 

North Dakota’s oil and gas producers continue to shatter production records. Daily output

increased to a record 1.39 million barrels per day in October --- strengthening North Dakota’s position as the nation’s No. 2 oil producer. The state ranks 6th in overall energy production.

Burgum also spent time revisiting several budget initiatives he presented during his Budget Address last month. He again called on lawmakers to make investments to improve our state’s election integrity by funding new election equipment. Several other budget priorities made the speech including: state employee salaries, pension, investments in IT projects, improving transparency, behavioral health programs, community-based services, building a new behavioral health hospital and clinic, education funding, and infrastructure funding for roads, water, airports and technology.

“A perfect storm of circumstances tested our resolve during our first year in office,” reflected Burgum.  “From protests to crashing commodity prices to historic drought to having to close the largest budget gap in state history. But thanks to the unbreakable spirit of our citizens, the hard work of our state agencies, and the foresight of our elected leaders to plan for a rainy day, our state is stronger than ever.”

 

Burgum noted the tremendous progress that has been made in the last two years and committed to being focused next on solving the state’s workforce challenges.

 

As he wrapped up his speech he highlighted the importance of using the interest from the Legacy Fund in a very strategic way. He outlined his several of his proposals for Legacy Fund earnings, including: infrastructure revolving loan funds for political subdivisions and school construction projects, UAS infrastructure, IT projects and funding for the Theodore Roosevelt Presidential Library. He urged lawmakers to take up this proposal without delay.

“Swift passage will send a powerful message to all potential partners that the North Dakota Legislature understands both the lasting significance of this project and that the window for capturing this coveted prize for North Dakota is open right now.” He adds, “this and all of the Legacy Fund proposals will have lasting impacts beyond our current generation.”

Burgum ended his second State of the State Address with words of inspiration. 

 

“As we stand at the cusp of this new era, let us seize this opportunity for North Dakota to transform our image of ourselves --- to reach beyond any doubts and self-imposed limitations.

Now is the time to dream bold dreams --- to build those dreams --- and to create lasting legacies.”

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