FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
May 2nd, 2019
Doug Burgum Doesn’t Give a Schmidt
Here is a brief refresher: North Dakota Land Commissioner Jodi Smith revealed in March that two constitutional funds dedicated to the state’s public schools million were short by $137 million. Days later, State Engineer Garland Erbele told a Senate committee that the Resources Trust Fund that benefits water projects was short by $125 million. $262 million mandated by the North Dakota Constitution was misplaced. Treasurer Schmidt was responsible for transferring those funds.
“When public employees across the state have gone without adequate pay raises in years, it is outrageous that Governor Burgum would sign a budget that will give State Treasurer Kelly Schmidt an 8% raise,” said Kylie Oversen, Chair of the North Dakota Democratic-NPL Party. “Doug Burgum promised North Dakotans in 2016 that he was going to make state government run like a business. I don’t know of any business that would give an employee an 8% raise after mismanaging $262 million.”
In the private sector, a mistake costing $1,000 would lead to an employee being fired. In North Dakota state government, a mistake that went on for a decade costing $262 million does not garner any sort of repercussion. The raise Governor Burgum and Republican legislators are giving Schmidt far exceeds what they are willing to give other state employees like plow drivers; but who needs them, right?