Mac Schneider and Kenton Onstad
GRAND FORKS—North Dakota is great state. It's home to great people who work hard and sensibly plan for the future with an eye toward leaving things better for the kids. If the presumptive Republican presidential nominee feels the need to make America great again, he can just as well start with the other 49 states. Because North Dakota is already great (and, in our view, so is America). But the choices made by the Republican majority in the North Dakota Legislature have not been great. As recent events have laid bare, these choices have had serious consequences.
BISMARCK—While the oil tax trigger incentive will not go into effect this week, the Republican majority's permanent 23 percent oil extraction tax cut will take effect Jan. 1 regardless. It will cost the state hundreds of millions in the near term and untold billions in the long run. For the sake of perspective, had a 23 percent cut to the extraction tax been in place during the current budget cycle, it would have cost the state over $671 million through March of this year alone.
BISMARCK—As we write this column, legislators are vacating the Capitol. The halls are getting quiet.
This is in response to the announcement by House Majority Leader Al Carlson, R-Fargo, that the GOP majority in the Legislature intends to go forward with a delayed bill that would permanently reduce the oil extraction tax by 30 percent. If enacted, the Republican majority's resurrected plan to dramatically and permanently reduce the oil extraction tax would represent a misuse of the legislative process and result in a breach of trust with future generations of North Dakotans. Carlson's proposal—advanced on day 70 of an 80-day legislative session, with no public input or
BISMARCK -- North Dakota's 64th Legislative Assembly is finishing crossover, a legislative halftime of sorts that marks the midpoint of our state's 80-day session. Far from a game of Democrats versus Republicans, legislators of both parties are on the same team. Our shared goal should be to run up the score against North Dakota's challenges and take advantage of our state's unlimited opportunity. But as we enter the second half, we think the team can benefit from a chalk talk about what has worked and how we can improve. Take the issue of oil impacts in western North Dakota.
GRAND FORKS — As we write this column, it’s a week after Election Day. The door knocking is over, the wins and losses have been tallied, and the questions about where to cast ballots have been replaced with questions about where the Dem-NPL Party goes from here. Our answer? Forward. We will move forward with a determination to restore political balance and a firmly held belief that two strong parties competing for the public’s trust is the best guarantee of a government that is responsive to the people.
GRAND FORKS — This year, North Dakotans will celebrate our state’s 125th anniversary. Throughout our history, we have shown time and time again that economic development and good stewardship are not mutually exclusive. The State Industrial Commission — made up of the governor, attorney general and agriculture commissioner — was created based on this tradition. Among its most important duties is oversight of oil and gas development.