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'Operation Prairie Dog' signed into law

Dave Thompson
Prairie Public

To paraphrase William Shakespeare: “Cry ‘have it,’ and let loose the ‘prairie-dogs’ of infrastructure.”

Gov. Doug Burgum has signed into law the so-called “Prairie Dog” infrastructure bill.

"It will provide $250 million to help cities, counties and townships in North Dakota non-oil producing areas to pay for their infrastructure needs," Burgum said at a Capitol signing ceremony.

The bill creates a new “bucket” for oil tax revenues. And the fund is permanent.

The money won’t be available until 2023.

Senate Majority Leader Rich Wardner (R-Dickinson) was a main force behind the bill. Wardner said this will help attract workers to North Dakota.

"Workforce is one of our biggest issues," Wardner said. "And if we can have good cities, with good infrastructure, it's going to make a difference. People are going to say, 'I wanna live there.'"

The bill passed 80 to 12 in the House, and 46 to zero in the Senate.

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