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Second veto overridden

The Legislature has overridden Governor Burgum’s veto of a measure that changes how the state deals with unexpected federal funds.

Under current procedure, the Emergency Commission – made up of the Governor, the Secretary of State, the majority floor leaders of the House and Senate, and the two appropriations committee chairs – makes decisions on how the money is spent. And the Legislature’s Budget Section --- made up of all the members of the two appropriations committees – can either say “yes” or “no” to the Commission’s decisions.

HB 2290 would allow the Emergency Commission to make decisions on the first $3 million. From $3 million to $50 million, the Budget Section can make changes on the Commission’s recommendation. And after $50 million, the Legislature must be called into special session.

"It is the job of the Legislature to appropriate funds -- state funds, and federal funds," said Sen. Scott Meyer (R-Grand Forks).

The Senate vote was unanimous.

"I hope we get 80 votes on this bill, so we can show the Governor that we do defend the authority of the Legislative assembly to appropriate funds," said Rep. Ben Koppelman (R-West Fargo). "And upon that appropriation, we expect that the Executive Branch uses those funds in a way that they are Constitutionally authorized to do."

The House vote was 75 to 11.

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