Burgum signs first bill of 2019 legislative session, removing mandatory minimum sentences for certain drug offenses
On Wednesday, Gov. Doug Burgum signed his first bill of the 2019 legislative session, removing mandatory minimum sentences for certain drug-related offenses.
House Bill 1183 removes the mandatory minimum sentencing requirement for repeat offenses for manufacturing or delivering controlled substances, or possession with intent to manufacturer or deliver. The bill does not change the class of conviction (such as Class B or Class C felony).
Burgum signed the bill at 2:42 p.m. Wednesday. Its effective date is Aug. 1, 2019. The House of Representatives passed the bill by a vote of 81-9 and the Senate passed it 44-1.
The legislation was introduced by Rep. Tom Kading, R-Fargo, and co-sponsored by Rep. Jake Blum, R-Grand Forks, Rep. Lisa Meier, R-Bismarck, Rep. Mary Schneider, D-Fargo, Rep. Steve Vetter, R-Grand Forks, Sen. Oley Larsen, R-Minot, and Sen. Diane Larson, R-Bismarck.
'Work Worth Doing' hits the road
On the latest episode of Gov. Burgum's podcast, "Work Worth Doing," he heads out in a snow plow to learn exactly how this statewide fleet of drivers clears 17,000 miles of roadway after every snow storm.
The governor rode with Craig Sperling, whose 33 years of driving a plow truck with the North Dakota Department of Transportation has given him a unique perspective on the way snow and ice control technology has changed over the years. Tom Sorel, NDDOT director, also joins us on this podcast episode to discuss the system-wide transformations being made in the department.
Need to catch up on the show? Check out the archive of all previous episodes at the link below.
Burgum and Sanford celebrate Aeronautics Month
To celebrate North Dakota's position as a leader in aviation, Gov. Burgum has proclaimed March as Aviation Month.
Lt. Gov. Brent Sanford delivered remarks Tuesday to the Upper Midwest Aviation Symposium in Bismarck, while Burgum met with aviation officials as the North Dakota Aviation Council hosted an informational exhibition Wednesday at the Capitol to demonstrate the expansive aviation industry in North Dakota.
North Dakota is home to important military aviation functions at the Minot and Grand Forks Air Force Bases and the North Dakota National Guard in Fargo and Bismarck. The state also trains pilots and future aviation leaders at the University of North Dakota’s world-class John D. Odegard School of Aerospace Sciences.
The Governor’s executive budget proposes $22 million in energy impact grants to the North Dakota Aeronautics Commission for airport infrastructure grants in 2019-21. The budget also proposed investing $30 million in Legacy Fund earnings to create a statewide unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) infrastructure network, which would cement North Dakota's position as a national leader in UAS research and development. The House has included $27 million from that recommendation in the Commerce Department budget.
Governor's Prayer Breakfast marks 27th year
Gov. Burgum and Lt. Gov. Sanford hosted the 27th annual Governor's Prayer Breakfast on Friday at the Ramkota Hotel. They were joined by North Dakota's adjutant general, Maj. Gen. Alan Dohrmann, who acted as master of ceremonies; the breakfast's keynote speaker, retired Army Lt. Gen. Mick Kicklighter; U.S. Sen. Kevin Cramer; several statewide elected officials and dozens of state legislators.
Modeled after the National Prayer Breakfast, the event was started in 1993 by then-Gov. Ed Schafer.
Burgum's remarks this year focused on coming together to celebrate our common humanity and the power of love, prayer and forgiveness to move us forward in abundant daily gratitude.
Burgum welcomes increased federal participation in F-M Diversion Project, testifies in support
Gov. Burgum applauded an announcement Tuesday that the Assistant Secretary of the Army (ASA) for Civil Works, R.D. James, has directed the Army Corps of Engineers to increase federal participation in the Fargo-Moorhead Area Diversion Project to $750 million, up from $450 million.
James also approved the renegotiation of the Project Partnership Agreement for comprehensive flood protection in the Red River Valley, according to the announcement from U.S. Sen. John Hoeven.
“This marks a huge step forward in securing comprehensive flood protection for a vital economic engine for the entire state of North Dakota and western Minnesota,” Burgum said. “Additional federal funding and a renegotiated partnership are essential elements of this project, and today’s announcement should instill confidence as we work with the North Dakota Legislature to secure additional state funding for the project. We are deeply grateful for the action by ASA James and the strong leadership by Sen. Hoeven and our entire congressional delegation to keep this project moving forward.”
On Thursday, Burgum testified to the House Appropriations' Energy and Environment Subcommittee in support of the project. This was his second time testifying to the Legislature regarding the project, following his January presentation to a Senate committee.
Burgum noted the project will protect nearly 95 percent of Cass County’s estimated 178,000 residents, nearly 50,000 K-12 and college students, $20 billion in property and the metro area’s thriving economy. Cass County accounted for 16 percent, or $2.8 billion, of North Dakota’s taxable sales and purchases in 2017.
Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images.
Burgum congratulates NDSU at launch of $50M Challey Institute for Global Innovation and Growth
Gov. Burgum joined North Dakota State University officials on Thursday to announce a transformative, interdisciplinary research institute focused on global innovation, trade and economic growth and made possible by philanthropy from benefactors.
The Sheila and Robert Challey Institute for Global Innovation and Growth will be administered through NDSU’s College of Business and is named in honor of the Challeys, longtime NDSU benefactors from Walnut Creek, Calif., who have provided a leadership gift commitment of $10 million.
Initial gifts totaling more than $30 million from the Challeys, the Charles Koch Foundation – which also has committed $10 million – and other benefactors have been secured, with a goal of raising $50 million for up to 15 years of programming to support new discovery, learning and service to the state, region and world.
Burgum joined NDSU President Dean Bresciani, NDSU Foundation and Alumni Association President/CEO John Glover and others in announcing the historic philanthropic investment.
“We are deeply grateful to the Challeys, the Charles Koch Foundation and other benefactors for their incredible investment in North Dakota’s future,” Burgum said. “With an export-driven economy led by agriculture and energy, significant workforce challenges and a thriving technology sector, our state stands to benefit greatly from the ideas and solutions generated at this new institute of study. Congratulations to NDSU on this tremendous initiative, which will promote big ideas and develop the leaders we need to enact them so that North Dakota can continue to be a fantastic place to live, work and raise a family for generations to come.”
The Challey Institute will support the hiring of an executive director and provide funding for up to 15 faculty positions in a variety of fields, NDSU officials said. New Ph.D. and graduate fellowships will be offered to students from a range of academic disciplines, and experiential learning opportunities for undergraduate students will be launched. For more information, visit the NDSU Foundation’s website.
First Lady shares messages about impact of addiction, eliminating stigma
First Lady Kathryn Burgum addressed two groups this past week regarding the shame and stigma associated with the disease of addiction.
On Tuesday, she spoke at the monthly Fargo Moorhead West Fargo Chamber of Commerce event, Eggs & Issues, about how the disease of addiction can have a significant impact on the workforce and how the business community can be a leader to eliminate stigma and empower a culture of recovery.
On Saturday, she spoke at SUD Talks at Florida Athletic University. The event is a national call to action to change the way society thinks about substance use disorder.
Watch the livestream of the talks from this event at the link below.