Budget Cuts

Even though a few North Dakota Legislators are headed to Washington, DC for Donald Trump’s Presidential Inauguration, they’re doing it on their own dime.

The state Legislature will not be sending an official delegation.

"When the question was asked of me last year, when the allotments came out, I said we're not going to spend state money to send people to Washington," said Sen. Ray Holmberg (R-Grand Forks), the chairman of the Legislative Management Committee. "We had to reduce the budget of the Legislative Assembly."

A proposal in former Gov. Jack Dalrymple's executive budget would eliminate the North Dakota Center for Tobacco Prevention and Control Policy agency -- also known as "Breathe ND."

It would move the functions into the state Health Department.

"To totally eliminate an agency that has seen such incredible results in almost cutting youth smoking in half took us by surprise," said agency director Jeanne Prom.

The agency was created in 2008 after North Dakota voters passed an initiated measure. It is funded by the master tobacco lawsuit settlement.

Courtesy ND United

The president of a group that represents North Dakota state employees said he thinks the number of potential job cuts in the North Dakota University System is too high.

The system says as many as 490 positions could be eliminated – based on the two budget allotments and Governor Dalrymple’s call for a 90 percent budget in the upcoming two year period. Of those, 190 are vacant, 125 could be employees retiring early or leaving on their own, 70 could mean contract reductions – and 105 could be laid off.

State employees concerned about budget cuts

Aug 8, 2016
Courtesy ND United

The head of an organization that represents state employees said those workers are feeling a bit anxious about the belt tightening in state government.

After imposing a 4.05 percent allotment, Gov. Jack Dalrymple ordered another 2 ½ percent cut just before the special session.  And the agencies have to report to the Office of Management and Budget by August 15th on how they will deal with the latest round. And Dalrymple has asked state agencies to submit 90 percent budgets for the next two year period.

Dalrymple calls August special session

Jul 13, 2016
Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

Gov. Jack Dalrymple has called a special Legislative session, starting August 2nd – and running through August 4th.

Dalrymple said he finalized his decision after receiving the latest state revenue forecast.

"It projects that tax collections for the current biennium will fall $310 million below the revenue forecast of last July," Dalrymple said at a Capitol news conference.

UND Budget Discussion Airs Frustration, Concern, Worry

Apr 21, 2016
University of North Dakota / University of North Dakota

Interim University of North Dakota President Ed Schafer went before a crowd of several hundred UND faculty, staff and students Wednesday afternoon for a dialogue on the current round of budget cuts being made in state government… Reporter Todd McDonald was there and files this report…