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N.D. budget still on track for negative ending balance, even after budget cuts and fund transfers

BISMARCK -- Despite more than $1 billion in agency budget cuts and planned fund transfers, North Dakota's general fund budget is still on track to end the biennium with a negative balance, the state's budget director said Thursday, Sept. 29.

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Pam Sharp

BISMARCK - Despite more than $1 billion in agency budget cuts and planned fund transfers, North Dakota's general fund budget is still on track to end the biennium with a negative balance, the state's budget director said Thursday, Sept. 29.

The Office of Management and Budget estimates the budget will be $7.6 million in the red by June 30, 2017, even after $396 million in agency cuts and plans to drain the entire $572.5 million Budget Stabilization Fund and withdraw $100 million in profits from the state-owned Bank of North Dakota, Director Pam Sharp told the Legislature's Budget Section.

If the next revenue forecast prepared in November continues to show a negative ending balance, Gov. Jack Dalrymple will propose fixes for it in his executive budget presented to the Legislature in early December, and lawmakers will deal with it when they convene in regular session in January, Sharp said.

Stagnant crude oil prices and fewer-than-expected drilling rigs continue to cut into state tax revenue collections, which fell $9.2 million short of projections in August, Sharp said.

"All of that really depends on the price of oil, and there hasn't been much movement," she said.

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