Dakota Download Governor Burgum's Weekly Update - April 14, 2024

Burgum urges EPA to pause implementation of new air particulate rule until states’ concerns are addressed

Gov. Doug Burgum joined 21 fellow governors in a letter last week urging U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Michael Regan to pause implementation of a new EPA rule tightening limits on fine particles in the air until the states’ concerns can be addressed.

“This one-size-fits-all rule is the wrong approach and particularly burdensome to states like North Dakota where air quality is frequently degraded by wildfire smoke from western states and Canada that is beyond our control,” Burgum said. “North Dakota currently meets all federal and state ambient air quality standards, showing that individual states are best positioned to understand and address the unique situations affecting their air quality. This new EPA standard ignores the progress made in reducing particulate matter over the last 20 years and threatens to drive up costs for industry and consumers and damage our economy. We strongly urge the EPA to put the brakes on this rule until our concerns can be addressed and we can find a balanced approach that protects the environment, the economy and our citizens.”

In addition to Burgum, the letter was signed by the governors of Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, West Virginia and Wyoming.

2024 North Dakota Governor's Photo Contest winners celebrate state's beauty and diversity

Gov. Burgum and Lt. Gov. Tammy Miller along with North Dakota Commerce Tourism and Marketing Director Sara Otte Coleman and North Dakota Folklorist Troyd Geist, presented the winning entries from the 20th annual North Dakota Governor’s Photo Contest during the North Dakota Travel Industry Conference in Fargo.

With a record-breaking 813 submissions from 170 photographers, this year’s contest exceeded expectations, celebrating the beauty of North Dakota's four seasons and unique experiences through the lens of talented artists.

"This year's Governor's Photo Contest truly showcases the beauty of North Dakota across all seasons and activities," Burgum said. "The record-breaking number of entries and the talent displayed are inspiring. These photos will be powerful tools in promoting our state as a must-visit destination."

The 2024 contest embraced the state's diverse climate and activities by introducing new categories based on seasons. Winners were chosen for stunning scenery across all four seasons (Fall, Spring, Summer, Winter) as well as captivating activities for each (Fall Activities, Spring Events, Summer Activities, Winter Activities). Additionally, photographers had the option to submit their entries through two convenient new methods: Instagram and a direct online upload option.

Theresa Mallory of Mandan won the Best in Show award for her photo "Celebrate! Bismarck Looking at Mandan," which captures the grandeur of a Fourth of July fireworks display.

These prints will be on display at the North Dakota State Capitol, 18th floor, for the month of May. Burgum also expressed his gratitude to the American Automobile Association (AAA) for their continued support as a partner in the Governor's Photo Contest.

Find descriptions of all winners and honorable mentions along with the complete gallery at https://belegendary.link/2024GovPhotoContestWinners.

Burgum congratulates ND National Guard Chief of Staff Brig. Gen. Darrin K. Anderson on retirement

Gov. Burgum congratulated North Dakota National Guard Chief of Staff for Air Brig. Gen. Darrin K. Anderson on his retirement at an official ceremony recently.

Anderson began his military career in 1983 when he enlisted in the North Dakota Air National Guard as a Security Specialist. He commissioned in 1995 through the Academy of Military Science and served as an intelligence officer from 1995 to 2003 supporting the 119th Fighter Wing performing homeland defense.

He deployed several times in support of Operation Coronet Nighthawk and was activated for Operation Noble Eagle after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. In 2003, he transitioned to the aircraft maintenance officer career field, supporting flying missions with the F-16, C-21, and MQ-1 over a 10-year period. He served as Maintenance Group Deputy Commander from 2007 to 2013.

Anderson returned to the intelligence career field, becoming the first Commander of the newly formed 119th Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance Group. In 2018, he was assigned as Commander of the 119th Wing, responsible for nearly 1,200 authorized personnel supporting combatant commanders with trained and ready Airmen executing world class MQ-9 precision attack and reconnaissance, kinetic and non-kinetic target intelligence production, as well as expeditionary support capabilities for the nation and state.

Anderson is a 2012 graduate of the USAF Air War College. He is a native of Valley City.

Burgum announces first keynote speaker for Summit on Innovative Education June 17 in Bismarck

Gov. Burgum announced a keynote speaker for the eighth annual Governor’s Summit on Innovative Education on June 17 at Bismarck State College.

The theme of the free event is "Navigating the Future: AI's Role in Education." Participants will learn how to maximize artificial intelligence, hear from leading industry experts and identify strategies that empower educators to use AI as a tool to transform the classroom.

One of this year’s keynote speakers will be Pat Yongpradit, the chief academic officer for Code.org, a nonprofit dedicated to promoting computer science education. Yongpradit is an international voice on computer science education and advises education systems around the world. Notably, he has led the development of the K-12 Computer Science Framework, the annual State of Computer Science report, and is now leading TeachAI, a global initiative to provide guidance on integrating AI in education. He has been recognized as a Microsoft Worldwide Innovative Educator and is featured in the book, “American Teacher: Heroes in the Classroom.”

The 2024 Governor’s Summit on Innovative Education is free and open to the public.

The #InnovativeND Awards also will be presented during the summit in the following categories:

  • Frontline Innovation – recognizes innovative approaches in the classroom.
  • Collaborative Culture – recognizes efforts that reach across subjects and classrooms.
  • System Transformation – recognizes innovations in the educational system that will have a fundamental impact on how students learn.
  • Student Leadership – recognizes students who are advancing innovative education through leadership inside and outside the classroom.
  • Pathways Innovation – recognizes efforts to provide learners with new and exciting opportunities to explore career paths.

To nominate an educator, school, district or student for an award, visit the nomination page.

North Dakota joins lawsuit over Biden’s unlawful attempt to sidestep Congress on student loans

Gov. Burgum conveyed his support for North Dakota joining a lawsuit challenging the Biden administration’s unlawful attempt to sidestep Congress and cancel student loan debt at considerable expense to U.S. taxpayers.

The lawsuit, led by the state of Missouri and joined by six states including North Dakota through Attorney General Drew Wrigley, was filed in U.S. District Court in Missouri. It asks the court to temporarily halt the Biden administration’s action on the grounds that it violates the separation of powers clause in the U.S. Constitution and violates the federal Administrative Procedures Act, which dictates that Congress should decide matters of such high importance and cost – estimated at $475 billion to as much as $1.1 trillion over a 10-year period.

“President Biden’s latest attempt to cancel student loan debt is a blatant attempt to circumvent Congress and defy the U.S. Supreme Court, with the cost falling squarely on the backs of hardworking taxpayers,” Burgum said. “North Dakota’s situation is unique because our state-owned Bank of North Dakota allowed borrowers to consolidate their federal student loans at lower interest rates, and those borrowers – who made a smart financial decision – wouldn’t be eligible for Biden’s bailout, which smacks of unfairness. We are confident the court will remind the president that there are three separate but equal branches of government, and he can’t unilaterally sidestep the other two.”

Also joining the lawsuit were Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Ohio and Oklahoma.

Tickets now available for the annual Governor's Military Ball

At home and abroad, our military members are dedicated to protecting citizens from threats to national security and in times of natural and humanitarian disaster. For all that they risk to protect the freedoms and safety Americans enjoy, we are incredibly grateful.

The Governor's Military Ball celebrates and shares military traditions, recognizes exceptional service members with awards and honors service members and their guests with a memorable experience.

This event is open to the public. Tickets are available at the link below.

Currently serving military members and veterans enjoy special discounted rates.