Burgum: State revenues are recovering, but there's more work ahead

Jan 24, 2018

Gov. Doug Burgum gives his "State of the State" message in Ann Nichole Nelson Hall at Minot State University.
Credit Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

Gov. Doug Burgum said the state is beginning to see some recovery, after the 2017 Legislature had to cut a good size chunk from the state budget.

But Burgum said there’s more work to do.

In his “State of the State” address, Burgum said he and the state Legislature had to take the knife to state spending, and virtually every budget was affected – save K-12 education. And he said to balance the budget, a number of “rainy day” funds had to be drained. Burgum said while those trust funds are coming back, the balances aren’t what they were.

"So we're kind of working our way back out of the situation," Burgum said. "We're not risk-free."

Burgum said the Legislature will have to do some more work to make sure expenses and revenues match.

2017 was also the first year when state government could utilize the interest from the Legacy Fund. That fund has $4.1 billion.  Some have suggested tapping into the principle to help solve budget issues. Burum opposes that.

"I don't think we should be tapping the principle<" Burgum said. "And when it comes to spending the interest and earnings, I would like us to think creatively on how we can use those dollars to transform what we're doing, and not just fund basic services and operations of government."

Burgum said he’s asking for public input on what to do with the Legacy Fund interest.