Governor testifies to legislative committees in support of TR Presidential Library, F-M Diversion
Gov. Doug Burgum offered testimony before legislative committees last week in support of the proposed Theodore Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum and the Fargo-Moorhead Area Diversion Project.
The proposed $50 million in state funds for the presidential library would provide $1 of matching funds from Legacy Fund earnings for every $2 of donations received from other sources.
"North Dakota has truly a unique opportunity to garner and build a state-of-the-art presidential library and museum in honor of one of the most dynamic, influential and world-changing presidents in the history of the United States," Burgum testified Wednesday to House appropriators, highlighting the positive impacts to the state's tourism industry and economy. "The Theodore Presidential Library and Museum would be destined to become the No. 1 tourist attraction in North Dakota. Its presence would elevate North Dakota in the eyes of the nation and the world."
On Thursday, Gov. Burgum testified before the Senate Appropriations Committee in support of the F-M Area Diversion, a once-stalled project reinvigorated by his joint task force with former Gov. Mark Dayton of Minnesota. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources recently granted a long-awaited permit for the project.
"This is a project that protects tens of thousands of property owners and mitigates risk for the citizens of North Dakota. And it does so in a way that is less reliant on state funding as a percentage of the total cost than any of the recently funded flood control projects," Burgum said.
Burgum noted the Legislature's history of strongly supporting flood protection for North Dakota citizens and urged them to continue to do so with this project, which would protect over one-fifth of the state's population, or about 170,000 citizens.
Burgum appoints Hacker, Mihalick to North Dakota Board of Higher Education
Gov. Burgum on Friday appointed Timothy Mihalick of Minot and reappointed Nick Hacker of Bismarck to the North Dakota Board of Higher Education.
Mihalick is a business development officer at First Western Bank & Trust of Minot. He will fill the unexpired term of Greg Stemen, who retired from state Board of Higher Education in September. Stemen’s unexpired term ends June 30.
Hacker is the president of North Dakota Guaranty & Title Co. and has served on the state Board of Higher Education since July 1, 2015, currently as vice chair. He was reappointed to a four-year term that begins July 1 in his current seat.
“Nick and Tim both bring strong backgrounds in organizational and business leadership and an intense passion for higher education in North Dakota that will serve our students and citizens extremely well,” Burgum said. “We’re deeply grateful for the many excellent candidates who expressed their strong desire to serve higher education in North Dakota.”
The governor selected Hacker and Mihalick from two pools, each with three candidates selected by a five-person nominating committee. The North Dakota Senate still must approve their appointment to the Board.
Burgum, Sanford host Main Street Initiative meeting in Bismarck
Gov. Burgum and Lt. Gov. Brent Sanford joined Bismarck Mayor Steve Bakken and several cabinet members in hosting a community listening session Thursday at Juniper Workantile in downtown Bismarck.
During the Main Street Initiative meeting, more than 50 community leaders, business owners and students highlighted positive trends in Bismarck and discussed areas that need improvement.
Burgum remarked that Bismarck is a great city and has the opportunity right now to go to the "next level." By working to create a smart, healthy city, Bismarck can attract and retain the necessary workforce to continue expanding its economy and improving the quality of life for all of its citizens.
One of the Burgum-Sanford administration's five strategic initiatives, the Main Street Initiative is based on three pillars: healthy, vibrant communities, a skilled 21st century workforce and smart, efficient infrastructure.
Burgum and Sanford meet with Rural Leadership ND participants
More than 20 leaders from across the state met with Gov. Burgum and Lt. Gov. Sanford on Thursday to discuss issues and opportunities facing rural North Dakota, such as commodity prices and international trade.
The Rural Leadership ND (RLND) group was in Bismarck to meet with state officials and participate in the first days of the 66th Legislative Assembly's regular session.
RLND is an 18-month leadership development program from North Dakota State University Extension. The RLND program is designed for individuals dedicated to strengthening the agriculture sector, their communities and the state of North Dakota for the future.
Sanford participates in Early Childhood Awareness Day
Lt. Gov. Sanford sat down for some storytelling during the Early Childhood Awareness Day event Friday in the Capitol's Memorial Hall.
The event, featuring organizations supporting early childhood education across North Dakota, was hosted by State Superintendent Kirsten Baesler and the Department of Public Instruction.
Early care and education professionals shared information about their services and answered questions about the services they provide to North Dakota children and their families.