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ND legislative budget-writers agree on spending the latest federal COVID-19 relief money

The Legislature’s Appropriations Committees have come to an agreement on spending the latest federal COVID-19 relief money.

The $1 billion comes through the American Recovery Plan Act.

"We built it," said Senate Appropriations Committee chairman Ray Holmberg (R-Grand Forks). "Then we will take it apart. And then we will put it back together, pass it and send it to the Governor."

Holmberg said he believes one of the big initiatives the Legislature will consider is $150 million toward a natural gas pipeline, to bring Bakken gas to some parts of North Dakota.

"Practically everyone was excited, and supported the the natural gas infrastructure pipeline across the northern part of the state, to bring natural gas from the Bakken to central and eastern North Dakota," Holmberg said. "Why not use the gas in North Dakota, rather than flaring it?"

The full cost of a such a pipeline is estimated to be between $850 million and $1.2 billion.

Holmberg said there’s probably about $50 to $60 million from the ARPA money that is being left on the table, for now.

The Legislature returns for a reconvened, or special, session Nov. 8th.

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