North Dakota, How To Spend Our Billion Biden Bucks…Suggestions?
This is an exact pull from a June 14th, 2021 headline I did on this very topic.
"ND Just Got A Billion "Biden Bucks"! How Should We Spend It?"
Before that, a previous story explained how Governor Doug Burgum's hands had been tied in regards to spending that money.
Why Can't Burgum Raid NoDak's $1 Billion Biden Bailout?
You can read that here.
So, this is more of a review because you didn't originally read either story. Fair enough.
Nor did you click on either link above with your second chance to read those two stories. Fair enough.
But, you're reading this right now and I'm grateful. So let's break down the story so far and then be prepared to submit your input either through your comments or by hollering at your North Dakota legislative representatives- their contact info is all right here.
So how'd we get these Billion Biden Bucks?
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 these 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. But that all happened after the Legislature had split town after their session. Leaving Doug rolling around like Scrooge McDuck in his vault full of money. To get that reference you can ask your parents and they can ask your grandparents- or as always just click the link.
Well the ND Legislature had cut Burgum's two-year spending allowance at $50 million dollars.
Ouch...So what's a Doug to do? He's gotta call them back in a special session so they can bring the checkbook so we can start rolling in that cash! Lets's turn to today's story from AP News on how that is going down.
House and Senate appropriations committees met separately in all-day meetings at the Capitol, listening to pitches from fellow lawmakers and others on a wish list that totaled $9.2 billion — significantly more than the $1.1 billion in federal coronavirus funds transferred to the state-owned Bank of North Dakota in June.
The meetings, attended heavily by lobbyists, were the first in a series being held this month to prioritize projects ahead of a Nov. 8 special session, when the full GOP-led Legislature will debate the proposals.
Well doggie, there surely is lots and lots of extra hands being put out to grab some of that sweet cash. We've got a $1 billion to burn, and over $9 billion in suggestions from your government reps on how to do it.
The clock is ticking on soon to spend it..."The funds must be assigned by the end of 2024 and spent by the end of 2026, under federal rules."
So again they're having a special session November 8th. You can contact your reps here or comment and make your voice heard. Getting it off your chest may make you feel better.