Audio: Former Gov. Ed Schafer Says Nursing Home Tax Bill “Is Stupid”


On Friday I had former North Dakota Governor Ed Schafer on my radio show, and he didn’t mince any words when it came to his thoughts on a proposed tax on nursing home beds.

“This tax on long term care residents is stupid,” he told me, adding that proponents of the tax have been “trying to get it on the table since I was governor.”

Schafer said my criticism of new Governor Doug Burgum – of whom Schafer has been an outspoken proponent – for supporting this tax despite his anti-tax pledges during the campaign was fair.

“I just think it’s a mistake,” Schafer said.

[mks_pullquote align=”left” width=”300″ size=”24″ bg_color=”#ffffff” txt_color=”#000000″]”I just think it’s a mistake,” Schafer said.[/mks_pullquote]

Schafer also spoke with me about SB2152, proposed legislation to close off to open records the identities of people applying for state positions. That information would only be revealed once the field of applicants had been narrowed down to finalists.

The former Governor said he’d back this sort of legislation back when he was the interim President at the University of North Dakota watching closely the hiring process for his replacement. Schafer argues that having all the applications accessible to those making open records requests can deter some good candidates from applying.

I’ve opposed this legislation in the past, but I’ve changed my mind. After witnesses just how costly bad hires such as NDSU President Dean Bresciani can be, this policy seems reasonable if we can improve the quality of our pool of applicants.

We also talked about Trump’s inauguration. Schafer said he preferred other Republican candidates to Trump, but that his inauguration was still a “great day in America.”

Below is the full audio of our discussion. Schafer will be sitting in for me today on the show as I’ll be out attending to a family matter.

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