New law could delay federal allocations

Updated: Jun. 15, 2021 at 1:31 PM CDT
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BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - There has been talk for weeks about a special session of the state Legislature for redistricting, but a new law may force them to take another issue up while in town.

Last session, lawmakers passed a bill requiring a special session if the state receives more than $50 million in a federal package.

Wednesday, the North Dakota Emergency Commission has an agenda item allocating $100 Million to the Department of Human Services.

According to the new law, the spending can’t be approved without a vote of the Legislature.

Some members of the commission are wondering what the process will look like to approve that spending.

“We’re in a holding pattern right now as legislative council digs in to see what are the rules and when will we get them. So that is up in the air. We don’t if we’ll have a special session,” said Sen. Majority Leader Rich Wardner, R-Dickinson.

Legislative leadership confirmed to Your News Leader they may not approve the larger ticket items until the redistricting session in early November, which means hundreds of millions of dollars won’t be allocated for nearly five months.

Gov. Doug Burgum, R-N.D., chairs the Emergency Commission, which also features legislative leadership and other members of the executive branch.

The commission will decide how the funds will be handled before approval Wednesday.

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