Gov. Doug Burgum’s proposal to spend $50 million from the earnings of the state Legacy Fund on a new Theodore Roosevelt Library and Museum, to be built in Medora, has had tough sledding in the Legislature.
"There is absolutely no appetite for $50 million," said Sen. Majority Leader Rich Wardner (R-Dickinson). "We still have behavioral health issues to fund, and we have some other needs out there. The library cannot come in front of those priorities."
But Wardner said there could be a plan to put some money toward the project – just not at the $50 million level. And he said it would not be a direct appropriation.
"It would be an endowment," Wardner said. "It would be put away in a state agency that would use the earnings to operate the library. We're not looking at giving a direct appropriation."
Wardner said that could be up to $25 million.
Burgum said the $50 million he has proposed could leverage another $100 million in private donations to get the library and museum built.