Letter: Follow rules North Dakotans voted for to benefit its long-term needs
Reps. Shirley Meyer and Kenton Onstad left out some rather large details while trying to claim credit for Gov. Jack Dalrymple’s recent proposal to support school construction in western North Dakota. Most importantly, they left out the fact that the two ideas are not the same at all.
The major differences are in two areas: the source of the funding and what the funding supports.
Funds to support Dalrymple’s education initiative would come from Oil and Gas Impact Grant funds and would be earmarked specifically for school construction and renovation projects.
The funds for HB 1362, which Meyer and Onstad brought forward in the 2011 session, would have come from the Legacy Fund and would have been made available for any purpose for which an impact grant could be made.
North Dakotans overwhelmingly voted to create the Legacy Fund, which is not allowed to be used until 2017. Yet, Meyers and Onstad wanted to use those funds on their own timeline. They also wanted to make those funds available for a broad range of purposes that our Oil and Gas Impact Fund already supports. This is why their bill was voted down 25-68 in the House.
So while we can all agree that western North Dakota needs unprecedented funding, we have to remember that we still have to follow the rules North Dakotans voted for. And those rules will benefit the long-term needs of the state.
Dalrymple’s plan uses a proper fund for a defined purpose, and that’s the sign of something that will work.
District 3 Rep. Roscoe Streyle, Minot