Dakota Download Governor Burgum's Weekly Update - October 29, 2023

Burgum completes bill signings from special session of North Dakota Legislature, partially vetoes one bill

Gov. Doug Burgum signed all 14 bills approved by the Legislature during its three-day special session that concluded Wednesday.

The governor partially vetoed House Bill 1544, which created unnecessary red tape related to the financing of projects by the North Dakota Development Fund.

Burgum called lawmakers to Bismarck for last week’s special session to address the 2023-2025 appropriations bill for the state Office of Management and Budget (OMB), and to make strategic investments in tax relief and infrastructure. The North Dakota Supreme Court issued an opinion Sept. 28 voiding the OMB bill, ruling it violated the state Constitution’s single-subject rule. Lawmakers passed 14 bills to address the OMB budget and other provisions in the voided bill.

“We’re grateful to Majority Leaders Hogue and Lefor for their collaboration to fix the OMB bill in an efficient manner and ensure that services to citizens and agency operations will continue without interruption,” Burgum said.

Burgum expressed disappointment for the citizens of North Dakota after state Senate members rejected an income tax relief bill that would have saved taxpayers $46 million in tax year 2024 and effectively eliminated the state income tax for an additional 50,000 wage earners and small business owners filing as individuals. The House had overwhelmingly passed the tax relief.

Burgum also announced in his State of the State Address that he had issued a proclamation declaring Oct. 23-28 a Week of Prayer in Support of Israel.

Public invited to send ornaments for North Dakota State Christmas Tree

Annual Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony scheduled for Nov. 27

The Office of the First Lady invites artists and craftspeople to provide handmade ornaments for the North Dakota State Christmas Tree. The tree will be on display in Memorial Hall at the state Capitol.

Submitted ornaments can vary from traditional to contemporary arts. Items that are commercially produced or made from kits are not eligible. This year’s ornament motif is "Lighting the Way," but ornaments can also be of any shape or medium of the designer’s choosing. The “Lighting the Way” theme is inspired by First Lady Kathryn Burgum’s platform of working to end the stigma surrounding the disease of addiction. This year, the State Christmas Tree represents a beacon of light in dark times, especially for those in, seeking, or who are impacted by the disease of addiction. Broadly, the tree could be adorned with ornaments that represent different sources of light, such as candles, lanterns or stars.

Each ornament should include the name of the person entering it, their email address and a brief one- or two-line description of the ornament that includes the art form used and the special circumstances through which it was created, such as a class or senior center project.

Ornaments must be received in the Office of Management and Budget office no later than Tuesday, Nov. 21. The ornaments become the property of the Office of the First Lady and may be hung on the state tree in ensuing years. Please mail ornaments to State of North Dakota, Office of Management and Budget, Julie Strom, 600 E. Boulevard Ave., Bismarck, ND 58505.

Gov. Doug Burgum and First Lady Kathryn Burgum encourage the public to join them for holiday readings, music and carols at the annual North Dakota State Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony at 5:30 p.m. Nov. 27 in Memorial Hall at the Capitol.

Burgum to present Rough Rider Award to champion boxer Virgil Hill Monday at Bismarck Event Center

Gov. Burgum will present the Theodore Roosevelt Rough Rider Award, the state’s highest commendation for its citizens, to world champion boxer Virgil Hill during a ceremony Monday, Oct. 30, at the Bismarck Event Center.

The award ceremony will take place at 6 p.m. in the main arena at the Bismarck Event Center, 315 S. 5th S., Bismarck, where Hill fought several memorable boxing matches. A reception with refreshments will precede the ceremony at 5 p.m. at the Event Center. The event is free and open to the public.

In addition to Burgum, the ceremony will feature remarks from Hill’s friend and former trainer, Al Larsien, former Make-A-Wish board member Fran Joerz, MHA Nation Chairman Mark Fox, and Hill himself. Hill’s friend and former manager Bill Sorenson will serve as master of ceremonies.

Burgum announced Hill as the 48th recipient of the Rough Rider Award on Aug. 10. Raised in Grand Forks and Williston, Hill won a silver medal in the middleweight division during the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles, was a five-time world champion, set the record for the number of light heavyweight title defenses and was a first-round inductee into both the National Boxing Hall of Fame and International Boxing Hall of Fame.

The Theodore Roosevelt Rough Rider Award recognizes present and former North Dakotans who have been influenced by the state in achieving national recognition in their fields of endeavor, thereby reflecting credit and honor upon North Dakota and its citizens.

Main Street ND Summit in Watford City postponed due to inclement weather

The 2023 Main Street ND Summit scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday, Oct. 24-25, in Watford City, was postponed because of inclement weather.

“We appreciate your understanding as this was a difficult decision made with safety as our top priority,” Gov. Burgum said. “We look forward to having the rescheduled Main Street ND Summit in Watford City, and we’re grateful for the community’s support.”

Those who were planning to attend are encouraged to watch the website www.mainstreetnd.com for updates on the rescheduled event.