Republican Bonding Bill could regain lost funds

Published: Mar. 18, 2021 at 11:37 AM CDT
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BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - The major bonding bill North Dakota Republicans have been pushing for months might be taking yet another shift in size.

Senate Majority Leader Rich Wardner, R-Dickinson, introduced an amendment to his own bill which increases the $680 million bonding package up to $860 million.

The additional dollars would go to deferred maintenance and higher education initiatives.

“We’re gonna have more demand for skills in our workforce as we go forward. We’ve got a lot of young people in this state that are coming up in education, and we want to keep them here. And if they’re trained here, they’ll work here,” Wardner said.

The size of the bill has been a point of contention for much of the 2021 session.

When first introduced, it started as a $1.1 billion infrastructure plan.

When it passed the State House, it was whittled down to $680 million and mostly focused on water diversion projects in the eastern part of the state, and other grants and loans for infrastructure projects.

If the amendments are adopted and passed by the State Senate, the two chambers will have to negotiate the $180 million gap.

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