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Politics & Government

Fiscal impacts of ballot measures

03049 Measures cost                                              9-25-14 ddt

State budget officials have estimated the costs for four of the measures on the November ballot.

That’s required by state law.

The information was given to the Legislative Management Committee. The committee chairman – Sen. Ray Holmberg (R-Grand Forks) – says three of the four measures would have little to no fiscal impact. But he says one does.

"Measure 5, which is the Clean Water, Parks and Wildlife measure, would impact state income by $308 million between now and the end of the next biennium," said Holmberg. He says this could be problematic for budget writers in the 2015 session. And he says it might give some ammunition to the measure’s opponents.

"I think it'll give them a little extra thing to talk about," said Holmberg. "They could say, 'See, we're right -- it's over $300 million."

But Holmberg points out this was only informational -- and neither supporters nor opponents spoke to the merits of the issue.

"Whatever voters decide, it's the law," said Holmberg. "We'll deal with it then."

OMB says if the measure to allow big box stores to open their own pharmacies passes, it could save the state about $82,000 in Medicaid spending. The other measures – starting school after Labor Day and the shared parenting initiative – would have no fiscal impact.

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