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ND Legislative majority leaders: We still have to be careful with spending

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There’s a lot of money in the state’s checking account.

Some estimates show lawmakers will begin the 2023 Legislative Session with close to two billion dollars already in the bank.

However, the two new Majority Leaders in the Legislature say lawmakers will still have to be cautious in their spending decisions.

"When we look at the budget, we have to make sure — is it a one-time project, or something that's going to be on-going," said House Majority Leader Mike Lefor (R-Dickinson). "We have to be very careful of adding to the portion of the budget that's on-going."

Senate Majority Leader David Hogue (R-Minot) agreed.

"It's not going to be something that has a recurring expense to it," Hogue said. "But I think it will be a combination of tax relief — spending on such things as buildings — and we might save some, too — I'm not opposed to that."

Both leaders are talking tax relief.

"We can afford that, whether it's property tax or income tax," Lefor said. "We'll take a look at both."

Lefor said he thinks the Legislature will be able to do both property and income tax relief.

"Again, we have to be careful of the sustainability of it going long-term," Lefor said. "Right now, we're certainly in a great position to do both."

Hogue agreed.

"I'm open to it," Hogue said.

Gov. Doug Burgum presents his executive budget proposals to the Legislature in its December organizational session. He has already called for income tax relief.

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