North Dakota Legislature held longest session in state history
By Sarah Rosier
BISMARK, North Dakota: On May 4, the North Dakota State Legislature closed the books on the longest legislative session ever held in the state. During the 80-day session, the maximum number of days the body is legally allowed to convene, 475 bills were passed a record $4.6 billion in ongoing appropriations was approved.
One of the main reasons for the increased spending and longer session was increased revenue from the state's burgeoning oil industry. The state budget, decided during these sessions every two years, is now set at $14 billion, compared to around $4 billion only ten years ago.
The long session had numerous notable results which will effect citizens in the next two years. An average of $200 million monthly will be set aside for the state's general fund. North Dakota residents will receive $1.1 billion in tax relief. Aging state infrastructure will be addressed with $2.3 billion earmarked specifically for roads, flood control and other state obligations. Finally, to assist with the oil boom, the state has allocated $2.5 billion to help fund the rapid growth of these new Oil Patch towns.