FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
September 28, 2023
Bismarck, ND – Today the North Dakota Supreme Court voided the bill that funds the Office of Management and Budget. The North Dakota Legislature will likely have to return for a special session to remedy the issue.
After the ruling, Senate Minority Leader Kathy Hogan and House Minority Leader Zac Ista released a joint statement:
“Democrats sounded the alarm about this bill from the beginning. Ignoring the long-standing precedent of minority participation in crafting the OMB budget bill, Republican lawmakers shut us out of the conference committee entirely this year. Without bipartisan accountability on that committee, the final bill included not just $130M in new government spending, but substantive policy changes that had already been rejected by the Legislature earlier in the session, including major changes to the public employees’ pension board. To compound the problem, the Legislature voted on this take-it-or-leave-it measure in the middle of the night on the last day of the session. It’s no wonder the Supreme Court called foul on the process and struck down the bill as violating our state constitution.
This only highlights the perils of one-party rule in our state, where checks and balances have eroded. Whether it’s passing bills that survive constitutional scrutiny or exercising oversight of executive branch spending, North Dakotans deserve more accountability in state government. When the inevitable special session begins, Democrats will fight both for this transparency and for policies and investments that help families across the state. We will work across party lines to address the serious issues exposed by this ruling.”