Reactions to the Budget Proposal | VideoRetha Colclasure | 12/5/2012
12.8 billion dollars can go a long ways in North Dakota. But Democrats say it doesn`t go far enough when it comes down to what they say the state needs.
"My biggest disappointment was that he did not propose a state-owned refinery. He had the state medical and higher ed buildings. I was waiting for it but didn`t hear it," said Rep. Ken Onstad (D-Parshall).
Other ideas the Dem-NPL has backed for several years were included this time around and party leaders were pleased to see that. Like the five million dollars in grant money for day cares.
"We`ve long pushed for better access to daycare. We see that not only as a children and families issue but also an economic development issue," said Sen. Mac Schneider (D-Grand Forks).
The Governor`s budget includes funding for 15 new highway patrolmen and money for the state`s Bureau of Criminal Investigations.
"The Governor made it clear public safety was a top priority. The budget for my office reflects that," said Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem.
Stenehjem says he was pleased the budget adds three new BCI agents, two in the western part of the state, and a new forensic analyst.
"We have a very good argument and a story to tell about the needs in the oil patch for law enforcement."
The Democrats also say they`d like to see a long-range funding formula for dealing with the needs of western North Dakota rather than deal with the funding year by year.
The numbers in the budget are likely to change during the upcoming session, as legislators hammer out the exact details.