Print Column: The Politics of North Dakota’s Big Bad Budget Bind

MINOT, N.D. — Gov. Doug Burgum released his budget guidelines for the 2019-2012 biennium this week, and the tone of his fiscal message was grim.

We’re in for more cuts.

Burgum is asking that state agencies deliver budget recommendations for lawmakers, who will meet for their regular session in January, that reduce spending by 5 to 10 percent.

Lawmakers cut general fund spending in the current biennium by 28 percent during their 2017 session, but more is needed despite a stabilizing economy because they avoided deeper cuts by effectively draining a myriad of state reserve funds.

“We balanced the budget with $800 million of savings, but that $800 million isn’t going to be here this time,” Burgum said in a speech delivering his guidelines.

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Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com, a columnist for the Forum News Service, and the host of the Rob (Re)Port on Fargo-based WDAY AM970 from noon-2pm weekdays.

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