House passes Roosevelt Library in major win for Burgum

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BISMARCK, N.D. - What looked like an uphill battle in January is now a win for the Burgum administration as the House passed funding for the Theodore Roosevelt presidential library.

The funding was put in the Governor’s Office budget after some House members questioned the constitutionality of a stand alone bill.

House minority leader Josh Boschee, D-Fargo, said he was a no in January, but after months of negotiations voted yes on Thursday. That sentiment was echoed by other members of the chamber.

Some republicans battled over whether the project was an investment or an expense. Others say they can’t support the project until taxes, especially property taxes, were lowered.

One of the sticking points lawmakers ironed out was making Gov. Burgum accept his salary. Burgum, has not accepted a salary since he took office.

Burgum said:

“We are deeply grateful to the legislators who recognized the historic opportunity presented by this project, and to all those who have worked for almost two decades to establish a Theodore Roosevelt presidential library in North Dakota,” Burgum said. “This game-changing legislation supports the creation of a world-class tourist attraction that will elevate North Dakota in the eyes of the nation, have lasting economic and educational benefits, and share the incredible legacy of Theodore Roosevelt for generations to come.”