ND Just Got A Billion “Biden Bucks”! How Should We Spend It?
First off, no more GENERIC breakfast cereal! North Dakotans have the right to name-brands in a box. Plus, anyone that prefers the creamy shells and cheese to the blue brand mac 'n cheese should now be able to exercise that option.
That's just the start.
The federal government just made a direct deposit of right around $1 billion into North Dakota's checking account. The Associated Press reports that some ND Legislators refer to them as "Biden Bucks". Seems that some of those Legislators want to get to spending that money faster than you can say Ferrari. Fortunately cooler heads, such as ND Senate appropriations Committee head Ray Holmberg and Senate Majority Leaded Rich Wardner, are tapping the brakes until we can figure out what sort of federal spending guidelines might be connected to that big stack of cash.
So where did this billion dollars come from? Well, it's North Dakota's share of a $350 billion coronavirus relief package sent to assist state and local governments.
The federal funds were transferred to the state-owned Bank of North Dakota this month and represent the single-largest deposit into state coffers in history, state Treasurer Thomas Beadle said.
Let's talk infrastructure, that seems a place the 2020 Legislature was already trying to come up with cash for projects- even including a failed attempt at a gas tax increase. It passed the House, but got whomped in the Senate. So how about we revisit the not-so-sexy subject of infrastructure?
Rich Wardner said the lucrative oil fund makes a gas tax increase unnecessary. He said the state’s road and bridge spending could be supplemented with federal COVID-19 relief money and, if passed, a federal infrastructure bill.
It's sorta like the exact opposite of when some relative gives you money for Christmas or a Birthday, the first thing they say is "Now go buy something nice just for you. Don't go out just spend it on groceries". You've probably said that to someone yourself.
So should North Dakota go buy a "jet boat" with a billion Biden bucks? Or should we invest in infrastructure that will serve us well into the future. What to do?
One thing's for sure- we're getting the box of Cinnamon Toast Crunch!