Converge on the Capitol | VideoJoel Porter | 1/14/2013
A frigid morning couldn`t keep a small crowd off the steps of the state capitol. "We`re now at a point where the state has to do something different," said Charlene Nelson with the ND Campaign for Liberty.
A small gathering of taxpayers say North Dakota`s government is getting too big. Members from the North Dakota Campaign for Liberty say even with a budget surplus, state leaders are burning through money at a record pace. "With a $12.8 billion budget that`s already been proposed, it`s certain to come out even more bloated than that," Nelson said.
"The relief part`s a joke. How many people here have actually had lower property taxes since 2007?" said Zach Tiggelaar with the ND Policy Council.
"And the decisions that get made here are influenced the most by the people who communicate with the people here," said Rob Port with the "Say Anything" blog.
The group says it`s one thing to gripe about taxes and big spending, it`s another to do something about it. So they`re encouraging people to follow the legislative process and even pay lawmakers a visit at the capitol.
"You can come right to my desk at the capitol, up until a few minutes before a floor session convenes, talk to me. The committee processes are the same way, where we encourage people to come testify for or against a bill," said District 44 Rep. Blair Thoreson (R).
The goal behind the morning`s chilly pep rally was to make people feel more comfortable joining in the political process.
"For each one of us here, there`s 10 more just like us who are also going to be watching what`s going on," Nelson said.
North Dakota residents are encouraged to use the bill tracking system on the state legislature`s web page. You will need to log in before you can read over any bills or resolutions.