KHRT ND News – 11/08/21

KHRT NEWS – MONDAY – 110821 – 1200
 
BISMARCK, N.D. – Gov. Doug Burgum today delivered his State of the State address to a special session of the 67th Legislative Assembly, calling for investment of federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) dollars and the state’s excess ending fund balance into infrastructure, tax relief, workforce, economic development and other priorities to move North Dakota forward.
 
“By investing right now, right here in North Dakota, we can diversify the economy, we can enhance government services, and we can avoid inflation, be competitive and create long-term cost savings for citizens – all without raising taxes,” Burgum said, kicking off the special legislative session in the House chamber of the Capitol. “But we must invest strategically. That means one-time expenditures that don’t grow government. It means providing long-term value, efficiency and cost savings for taxpayers. And it means ensuring a high return-on-investment and leveraging private dollars to maximize the impact of public funds.”
 
Burgum signed an executive order Oct. 29 convening a special session of the Legislature on Nov. 8 to address legislative redistricting, statewide infrastructure and capital projects, natural gas infrastructure, statewide workforce programs, economic development opportunities, income tax relief and road, water and deferred maintenance needs.
 
Most of the investments are proposed from the state’s ARPA funds. North Dakota received just over $1 billion in ARPA State Fiscal Recovery funds and $113 million in ARPA Coronavirus Capital Projects funds, for a total of $1.12 billion in ARPA funds designated for distribution by the state. About $423 million of that amount already has been appropriated by the Legislature last spring for transportation infrastructure and capital projects.
 
The state also ended the 2019-21 budget cycle with a general fund ending balance that was $412 million more than what the Legislature obligated for the current 2021-23 budget. Today, Burgum repeated his call for the Legislature to use approximately half of those excess funds, or $207 million, to provide individuals with an income tax credit of up to $500 per year, per return, for the 2021 and 2022 tax returns.
“Providing tax relief now for the 2021 and 2022 calendar years – putting money back into the hands of our citizens – is real tax relief, and it’s responsive,” Burgum said. “We can afford to do it, and we should want to do it. The hardworking taxpayers of North Dakota certainly deserve it.”
 
Burgum noted the state’s reserves are healthy, with the rainy-day Budget Stabilization Fund at its legislatively set maximum of $749 million, a record high. The Office of Management and Budget also is projecting a nearly $600 million unobligated balance in the Strategic Investment and Improvements Fund and an unobligated general fund balance of $540 million by the end of the biennium. Burgum said the
state’s financial condition “presents a golden opportunity to invest in our future and provide tax relief and future savings to our citizens.”
 
The governor released his Accelerate ND plan on Sept. 30 with broad input from the private and public sectors, delivering a solid starting point for the ARPA investment process. Burgum today thanked legislative leaders for their collaboration through the process and also thanked the interim appropriations committees for advancing high return-on-investment opportunities, noting the strong alignment between the appropriations bills and the Accelerate ND plan.
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MINOT, N.D. – The Ward County Sheriff’s Office said today that a missing woman located Friday in a rural part of the county was found deceased. Deputies said they held off on releasing the status of 42-year-old Mandy Fulsebakke until next of kin could be notified. Investigators say there are no indications of suspicious activity, but an autopsy has been scheduled with the State Medical Examiner’s Office. Deputies said they received information of a vehicle tucked in a tree row in a rural part of the county. Deputies responded on Fridayand confirmed it was the vehicle Fulsebakke was said to be driving, and she was found with the vehicle as well. She had missing since Tuesday night. The incident remains under investigation.
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BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) – A $500,000 federal grant will help farmers in North Dakota cope with stress brought on by drought conditions, reduced commodity prices and other difficulties. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture is providing the grant money for North Dakota’s effort through the Farm and Ranch Stress Assistance Network. The state Agriculture Department plans to partner with North Dakota State University and the North Dakota Department of Career and Technical Education on programs dealing with behavioral health counseling and referral for other forms of assistance.
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BISMARCK, ND – Active cases of COVID-19 in North Dakota are down since Friday. The Health Department lists 3,148 active today, a drop of 447 from Friday’s numbers. There are three more deaths among those who were positive (1791). Hospitalizations are at 148 today, up 6 since Friday. Of those 16 are in ICU.
 
(Copyright 2021 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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KHRT NEWS – MONDAY – 110821 – 0700
 
BISMARCK, N.D. – Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum will deliver his State of the State address to a special session of the 67th Legislative Assembly at 9:30 AM today in the House chamber of the State Capitol in Bismarck. The address will be livestreamed on the Legislature’s website at www.legis.nd.gov.
 
Burgum signed an executive order last week convening a special session of the Legislature on Nov. 8 to address legislative redistricting, statewide infrastructure and capital projects, natural gas infrastructure, statewide workforce programs, economic development opportunities, income tax relief and road, water and deferred maintenance needs.
 
Article V of the North Dakota Constitution states that the governor “shall present information on the condition of the state, together with any recommended legislation, to every regular and special session of the legislative assembly.”
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BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) – A Minot woman accused of crashing into a motorcyclist at more than 100 mph and sending him under the wheels of a semitrailer two years ago has been charged with attempted murder. Twenty-eight-year-old Dazechnae Willis was arrested in Colorado and extradited to North Dakota. Willis was southbound on Highway 83 near Baldwin when her SUV struck motorcyclist Kelsey Schaefer from the rear. The impact sent Schaefer and the motorcycle under the wheels of an adjacent semitrailer. He suffered a serious brain injury and multiple other injuries. Willis and her children were not injured.
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WILLISTON, N.D. (AP) – A man faces driving under the influence and vehicular manslaughter charges in a head-on collision near Williston that killed a woman and a child from the city. √°Troopers say the 52-year-old Williston man was driving the wrong way on U.S. Highway 2 when his pickup collided with the woman’s vehicle at about 8 p.m. Saturday. The 44-year-old woman and a juvenile female passenger died at the scene. A 27-year-old man from Jonesboro, Georgia, was a passenger in the vehicle and suffered serious injuries. The patrol says the driver of the pickup suffered non-life-threatening injuries.
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HELENA, Mont. (AP) – Three people are dead after a reported shooting at a casino near the border of Montana and North Dakota. Police say the suspected shooter is among the dead in the Saturday slaying at the Stateline Casino in the small town of Bainville, Montana. Roosevelt County Sheriff Jason Frederick says deputies responded to reports of a shooting about 5:30 p.m., and found three people dead when they arrived. Police don’t believe there is any danger to anyone else. Police did not immediately identify those killed, but said more information will be released after the families of the victims have been notified.
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BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) – A proposal to use $150 million in federal stimulus money to build another pipeline to carry natural gas from the Bakken region to eastern North Dakota will be on the table as state lawmakers convene at the Capitol. Lawmakers plan to divvy up $1 billion during the special session, which opens Monday. The Bismarck Tribune reports that the money leaders hope to set aside for pipeline grants could make the plan more attractive to developers. The Bakken region of produces substantial quantities of gas, and some of it is wastefully burned off rather than piped away due to a lack of infrastructure.
 
 
(Copyright 2021 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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