Dem-NPL Statement on Emergency Commission’s Covid-19 Spending Recommendations

BISMARCK, ND — The Emergency Commission held a specially scheduled meeting Tuesday to make recommendations on more than $524 million in CARES Act money to the Office of Management and Budget as well as millions in other federal money and expenditures. The Legislative Budget Section committee will vote on the allocation on Friday. North Dakota is receiving more than $1.25 billion in federal covid-19 relief funding.

House Minority Leader Josh Boschee and Senate Minority Leader Joan Heckaman, both members of the Budget Section, released the following statements:

House Minority Leader Josh Boschee said:

“We support the commission’s recommendation because we know public employees need funding now and we support the work they’re doing to manage the crisis. But when North Dakota spends hundreds of millions of dollars, we need to ensure the public is able to provide input as part of the process, so we can have a relief plan that works for all North Dakotans. We need to take care of our small businesses and employers, but workers and families are the foundation of our communities and economy.”

Senate Minority Leader Joan Heckaman said:

“The reason we have three branches of government is to hold each other accountable. The reason we have local representatives from every county, town, and city is because each one has different needs and deserves a voice speaking on their behalf. Many small and regional nonprofits and agencies are doing a lot of work they wouldn’t normally do, and they also should be at the table. More than a billion dollars in federal money requires greater and earlier input and transparency, so it’s allocated equitably.”