Dalrymple: ND blessed but faces challenges

Published on NewsOK Modified: January 8, 2013 at 5:29 pm •  Published: January 8, 2013
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The budget proposal also calls for 171 new state employees, including more law enforcement, court, health and regulatory workers to monitor the burgeoning oil industry. It also calls for more spending on health care, child care and education.

"Our great economic progress has given us an opportunity that is rarely available to any state, and that is the opportunity to create our own future," Dalrymple said. "In the end, I expect the Legislative Assembly will find that we can fund all of our priorities, build substantial financial reserves, and lower taxes as well."

Republicans have two-thirds control in both the North Dakota House and Senate.

Senate Democratic minority leader Mac Schneider of Grand Forks said he didn't "want to throw cold water" on the State of the State speech but he said Dalrymple's spending plan doesn't go far enough in addressing future needs of the state.

Dalrymple's 40-minute address, which largely focused on North Dakota's successes, drew several standing ovations from lawmakers and others in attendance at the Capitol.

"The time for high-fives is over," Schneider said.

The Legislature has been "playing catch-up" in trying to address North Dakota's exploding growth for at least two previous sessions, he said. Communities, especially those in the western part of the state, have had to come "hat in hand" requesting funding to keep up with rapid growth, he said.

A long-term plan and additional investments beyond the governor's proposal are needed "so we can prepare for life after oil," Schneider said.

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Follow James MacPherson on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/macphersonja .



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