Dakota Download Governor Burgum's Weekly Update - September 3, 2023

Burgum attends change of command ceremony for USS North Dakota

On Thursday, the Virginia-class attack submarine USS North Dakota celebrated a change of command with a ceremony at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in Kittery, Maine.

Cmdr. Towney G. Kennard, who previously served aboard the USS North Dakota, takes over as the fifth skipper of the submarine, relieving Cmdr. Robert Edmondson.

"Like Commander Edmonson before him, we know Commander Kennard will lead this crew with the highest level of skill and professionalism that has come to define the USS North Dakota – instilling a great sense of pride in the people of our state," Burgum said.

Commissioned on Oct. 25, 2014, North Dakota (SBN 784) is the second U.S. warship named for the state of North Dakota, the first being WWI-era battleship USS North Dakota (BB 29). The USS North Dakota is more than 377 feet long and can displace nearly 7,900 tons.

Attack submarines are multi-mission platforms enabling five of the six Navy maritime strategy core capabilities – sea control, power projection, forward presence, maritime security and deterrence. They are designed to excel in anti-submarine warfare, anti-ship warfare, strike warfare, special operations, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, irregular warfare and mine warfare.

Miller, state officials congratulate MHA Nation on grand opening of new administration headquarters

Lt. Gov. Tammy Miller, cabinet agency leaders and other state officials attended the grand opening of the Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara (MHA) Nation’s new administration headquarters at 4 Bears Park near New Town on Thursday.

Miller congratulated MHA Nation on the new headquarters and thanked MHA Chairman Mark Fox and the entire Tribal Business Council for their leadership and ongoing collaboration with the state, noting tribal engagement is one Gov. Burgum’s five strategic initiatives.

“Congratulations on this great facility and your grand opening. It is a very beautiful, functional, state-of-the-art facility,” Miller said before a ribbon-cutting ceremony. “Thank you for having the vision to create a facility not only that meets your needs today, but that will meet your needs well into the future.”

Overlooking Lake Sakakawea, the 47,000-square-foot building will serve as the new capitol building for the MHA Nation. The complex also includes a 17,500-square-foot government support wing for a future federal agency.

Miller highlighted recent progress on state-tribal issues during this year’s legislative session:

  • In ongoing efforts to strengthen state-tribal relationships, Burgum signed HB 1385, which allows the State Water Commission to directly enter into agreements with tribal nations for a cost-share program that provides state funding for water development projects, including water supplies, flood protection and other general water management efforts, rather than having to go through an eligible non-tribal partner.
  • Burgum also signed SB 2377, which allows each of the five tribal nations with whom North Dakota shares geography to enter into a tax-sharing agreement with the state on alcoholic beverages sold at the retail and wholesale levels within their respective reservations. Tribal nations that adopt the alcohol tax will keep 80% of the tax revenue, while the state’s general fund will receive 20%. Burgum said the bill creates a fair and uniform framework for taxing alcohol on reservations while ensuring that the bulk of the revenue goes to the tribes to support addiction treatment and other programs.
  • The Native American scholarship was nearly doubled to $1 million and grants to tribally controlled community colleges increased to $1.4 million.
  • SB2073 allows North Dakota Information Technology to provide IT and cybersecurity services to tribal schools and colleges should they choose to utilize the services.
  • The governor also signed legislation codifying the Indian Child Welfare Act in state law.

Burgum, Dohrmann thank returning ND National Guard members for efforts to secure southwest border

Gov. Burgum expressed his gratitude for North Dakota National Guard soldiers as they returned home from a monthlong deployment to the U.S.-Mexico border last week. Approximately 100 members of the Wahpeton-based 188th Engineer Company served a 30-day mission in support of Operation Lone Star, a joint operation between the Texas Department of Public Safety and Texas Military Department.

Burgum, commander-in-chief of the North Dakota National Guard, and the Guard’s adjutant general, Maj. Gen. Al Dohrmann, visited soldiers from the 188th at the border earlier this month, thanking them for their work to support efforts by state and federal officials to secure the border, stop illegal immigration and disrupt drug and human trafficking.

“Border security is national security, and these North Dakota National Guard soldiers made the most of their time at the border, doing an outstanding job of supporting Operation Lone Star to limit illegal crossings and enhance public safety,” Burgum said. “They have our deepest gratitude and respect for their service, professionalism and vigilant work to protect our nation.”

Burgum deployed the 188th Engineer Company in response to a request from Texas Gov. Greg Abbott for states to send available resources to combat illegal activity at the border and ensure the safety and security of all Americans.

“It is a testament to their dedication and preparedness that they were able to accomplish so much in such a short amount of time,” Dohrmann said. “The sacrifices made by not only the Soldiers but also the families and employers is greatly appreciated. Thank you to all the 188th Engineer Company Soldiers for their selfless sacrifice and unwavering commitment to protecting our state and nation.”

The North Dakota National Guard still has approximately 125 members of the 1st Battalion, 112th Aviation Regiment with UH-72A Lakota helicopters serving at the southwest border on federal status in support of U.S. Customs and Border Protection. The yearlong deployment began in October 2022 and followed the return of 125 members of the 957th Engineer Company’s Multi-Role Bridge Company.

North Dakota National Guard units have provided support at the southwest border during more than 10 deployments since 2006.

Miller highlights ND's leadership at Autonomous Nation, announces Grand Farm capital campaign milestone

Lt. Gov. Miller highlighted North Dakota’s leadership in autonomous agriculture and unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) during the Autonomous Nation Conference on Tuesday in Fargo. Miller also announced a major milestone for Grand Farm’s capital campaign, with $15.1 million raised to complete Phase 1.

Grand Farm’s Innovation Campus capital campaign was launched in February 2022 with the awarding of a $10 million matching grant from the North Dakota Department of Commerce as approved by the state legislature.

"With major investments from the private and public sectors, we’re sending a clear signal that North Dakota is the nation's proving ground for autonomous technology," Miller said.

Grand Farm announced the location of its Innovation Campus near Casselton in May 2022, and last October Gov. Burgum and other regional leaders joined Grand Farm for a groundbreaking on the campus.

Join us for the seventh annual Recovery Reinvented

Attend in-person at Minot State University or watch the event live at recoveryreinvented.com on Oct. 5

State and national addiction experts will share their insight into how to turn "Advocacy into Action" at the seventh annual Recovery Reinvented, an event dedicated to ending the shame and stigma surrounding the disease of addiction.

The experience will be hosted by Gov. Burgum and First Lady Kathryn Burgum and will be free for both in-person attendees and online via livestream broadcast at recoveryreinvented.com.

Recovery Reinvented is free and open to the public, but space is limited, and registration is required. Registrants will be asked to indicate if they will attend in-person or virtually for the day-of experience and may update their registration status at any point.

Join us for the Main Street ND Summit

The 2023 summit will take place Oct. 24-25 in Watford City

North Dakota's economy is changing, and attracting skilled workforce to your company and community is more important than ever. To attract the best and brightest, private and public sectors need to work together to tell the story and show why employees need to call North Dakota home.

The 2023 North Dakota Main Street ND Summit is your opportunity to learn from experts and network with other community leaders. The theme this year is Innovative Workforce Solutions. The summit will feature nationally renowned keynote speakers and hands-on workshops that will provide you with the tools to attract and retain the next generation of North Dakota’s workforce.

There are several tours and activities that you can also sign up for when you register.