Dakota Download Governor Burgum's Weekly Update - September 24, 2023

Serve & Protect program launched to cover costs of routine medical exams for firefighters and police

Gov. Doug Burgum and North Dakota Workforce Safety & Insurance (WSI) announced a new program to help offset the costs of routine medical exams for paid, full-time firefighters and law enforcement officers.

The Serve & Protect Reimbursement Program is a vital initiative aimed at bolstering the well-being of the state's dedicated firefighters and law enforcement officers.

"The Serve & Protect Reimbursement Program demonstrates our deepest gratitude for the invaluable service provided by our firefighters and law enforcement officers," Burgum said. "We owe it to these brave men and women to ensure they have access to the best possible health care. This program not only alleviates a financial burden but also underscores our commitment to the well-being of those who put their lives on the line every day to keep North Dakota safe."

Employers with an active account who are in good standing with WSI and employ full-time firefighters and/or full-time law enforcement officers are eligible to receive a maximum reimbursement amount up to $250 per employee for routine medical exams. As part of the statutory requirements, an employer is required to pay for a medical exam at no expense to the employee. The medical exam schedule is based on continuous years of service as a paid, full-time firefighter or law enforcement officer regardless of where the service occurred.

“Workforce Safety & Insurance is committed to ensuring North Dakota workplaces are free from preventable injuries and accidents,” WSI Director Art Thompson said. “By partnering with employers on this program, we are not only fulfilling that commitment but also safeguarding those who serve and protect the citizens of North Dakota.”

Eligible employers can find more information on WSI's website: https://www.workforcesafety.com/safety/serve-protect-reimbursement-program

Burgum congratulates schools in Jamestown, Rugby, Taylor for National Blue Ribbon recognition

Gov. Burgum congratulated William S. Gussner Elementary School in Jamestown, Rugby High School in Rugby and Taylor-Richardton Elementary School in Taylor for being recognized by U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona as National Blue Ribbon Schools for 2023 on Tuesday.

“This prestigious award is a testament to the hard work, enthusiasm and dedication that the students, teachers and administrators at these exceptional schools bring to the classroom every day,” Burgum said. “We are grateful to William S. Gussner Elementary School, Rugby High School and Taylor-Richardton Elementary School for their commitment to excellence that earned them this well-deserved honor, as well as the schools throughout our state that are adopting and applying innovative approaches to teaching and learning.”

The National Blue Ribbon School recognition is based on a school’s overall academic performance or progress in closing achievement gaps among student subgroups. There were 353 schools recognized across the nation as National Blue Ribbon Schools for 2023.

Burgum, Miller visit Watford City for energy tour, NDPC annual meeting

Lt. Gov. Tammy Miller tours a ConocoPhillips oil rig outside of Watford City.

Gov. Burgum on Wednesday addressed attendees at the North Dakota Petroleum Council’s annual meeting at the Rough Rider Center in Watford City, highlighting opportunities and challenges facing the oil and gas industry in North Dakota, which experienced a record month for gas production in July. North Dakota is the nation’s No. 3 oil producer.

Lt. Gov. Tammy Miller and Job Service ND Director Pat Bertagnolli visit Principal Jim Green and students at Watford City High School.

Lt. Gov. Tammy Miller and Job Service ND Director Pat Bertagnolli visited Watford City High School to hear from students about the opportunities and challenges facing them as they prepare for life after graduation.

Miller and Bertagnolli also visited an oil rig operated by ConocoPhillips, speaking with workers about the oil and gas industry and current challenges facing the operators in the Bakken.

Gov. Burgum tours the control room at the Oneok natural gas plant just outside of Arnegard, N.D.

Burgum joins 24 governors in letter urging Biden to release details on impact of border crossings

"It’s time for the Biden administration to be upfront about illegal border crossings and their impacts to our communities and resources," Burgum said. "As my fellow governors and I stated in our letter, every state is now a border state. America can’t afford to turn a blind eye to this crisis."

Miller helps welcome home NDNG 191st MP

Lt. Gov. also attends sendoff ceremony for the NDNG 1-188th

Last weekend, Lt. Gov. Tammy Miller attended the welcome home ceremony for the North Dakota National Guard 191st Military Police Company.

The Fargo-based 191st MP soldiers returned earlier this summer after a yearlong mission in support of U.S. Central Command's Operation Spartan Shield in southwest Asia.

"Thank you for carrying on the tradition of those North Dakota National Guard members who came before you and earned our deepest gratitude for their service and sacrifice for state and country – for protecting our freedoms and our way of life," Miller said. "Because we know that freedom isn’t free – we’re able to enjoy it only because of brave Americans like you who are willing to pay the price."

Miller also joined the ceremony for the sendoff of 63 soldiers from the 1-188th Air Defense Artillery Bravo Battery to southwest Asia. This is the 13th deployment for the 1-188th ADA since 2004, making it the most deployed unit in the ND National Guard.

"We have every confidence that you will once again prove that North Dakota National Guard units are the best in the country," Miller said. "No matter where or how you serve, you embody the National Guard motto because you are 'always ready, always there' – answering the call to protect our nation and preserve our liberty with exceptional service and professionalism. We know you will make our state proud again."