Sanford hosts meetings on making ND friendlier to military members
Lt. Gov. Brent Sanford on Monday hosted members of the North Dakota Commission on Military Promotion and Strategic Sustainment (NDCOMPASS) to discuss ways to make North Dakota a more military-friendly state.
Gov. Doug Burgum established NDCOMPASS through an executive order last January. Monday’s meeting was held in conjunction with a meeting of Task Force Military Issues in North Dakota (TF MIND), a group comprised of state agency representatives and civic leaders from across the state.
Maj. Gen. Alan Dohrmann, adjutant general of the North Dakota National Guard, brought the groups together to examine military issues and identify initiatives to make North Dakota more welcoming for military members.
“With two Air Force bases and a strong National Guard presence throughout North Dakota, the military is essential not only to our defense but also to the health and vibrancy of our communities and our state as a whole,” Sanford said.
Some of the initiatives both groups are exploring include exempting military pay and military retirement from state taxation; improving cross-state border licensure portability for professionals; academic credits for military acquired skills; and enhancing access to affordable behavioral health services in North Dakota.
Background photo courtesy North Dakota National Guard
Hundreds tour new Governor’s Residence
Around 700 people toured the new Governor’s Residence on Tuesday, getting an up-close look at the nearly completed project.
Facility Management Staff provided tours of the residence’s formal space on the east side facing the Capitol mall, as well as the informal multipurpose room and kitchen on the west side facing Fourth Street North.
The state Legislature voted in April 2015 to build a new Governor’s Residence at a cost of up to $5 million, with $4 million coming from the Capitol Building Trust Fund and up to $1 million from private donations. Construction began in September 2016 after a design committee and the Capitol Grounds Planning Commission approved the design.
The residence’s 13,700 square feet includes the formal gathering space and a three-stall garage. About $4.88 million has been spent on the project, including the cost of demolishing the former 1960 Governor’s Residence that was located next door.
Early Childhood Education Council meets
Lt. Gov. Sanford chaired Tuesday’s meeting of the North Dakota Early Childhood Education Council as the 20-member panel discussed a development grant, received an update on early learning standards and reviewed plans for the 2019 Early Care & Education Conference.
Members also discussed the North Dakota Department of Human Services’ Child Care Development Fund Plan and strategies to streamline background check processing time, a major workforce hindrance at day cares and preschools across the state.
Transforming education is one of the Burgum administration’s five strategic initiatives.
Governor’s Office helps mark opening of new school
Lt. Gov. Sanford was among the guest speakers at Thursday’s grand opening of the new White Shield School.
The school will house about 150 students in grades K-12, plus 23 teachers and 22 staff members. It took approximately three years to build. Each classroom features smartboards, and the school also has a room dedicated to Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education.
Sanford congratulated the White Shield School District and emphasized how good schools and smart, efficient infrastructure contribute to healthy, vibrant communities, which are essential for attracting and retaining a 21st century workforce to fill North Dakota’s thousands of open jobs – touching on all three pillars of the Main Street Initiative.