(BISMARCK, ND) – Fargo state Rep. Ron Guggisberg provided the Democratic-NPL’s response to Gov. Burgum’s 2018 State of the State address from the State Capitol in Bismarck today. In his speech, Rep. Guggisberg offered the minority’s perspective on a variety of issues facing our state, including the opioid crisis, rural development, economic growth and innovation, education, and rising property taxes.
Video of the Dem-NPL’s State of the State response is provided for use by the press and media. CLICK HERE to download.
In his speech, Rep. Guggisberg addressed:
“A bipartisan proposal to make adequate investments for evidence-based, cost-effective behavioral health programs was all but assured passage last legislative session. But the majority stripped it down to just one percent of the funding we knew was needed. As the minority caucus, we will continue to fight for effective behavioral health programs and the resources these programs need to be successful – and we stand ready to work with the governor and the majority to accomplish this.”
“Every Democrat in the legislature proudly supported the innovative education legislation last session. That was an important step in supporting the creativity and flexibility we already see in classrooms all across our state. We also continue to fight for the school administrators, teachers, and professionals who connect with our students and encourage every child to reach their fullest potential. And more than that, when we see innovation, we will push for resources to support it, for all schools.”
“Let’s build our state’s economy through diverse, strategic investments that respect the uniqueness – and recognize the differences – of rural and non-rural communities alike, from Fargo to Bismarck, from Williston to Wahpeton, and in communities like Tioga, Bowman, Cavalier and Hankinson.
“The Main Street Initiative is a worthy effort, let’s begin by removing roadblocks and administrative burdens for local governments along the way. The Main Street Initiative can’t simply be more mandates that place the burden on local officials and drive up property taxes.”
“A return to the property tax buydown is not the answer. But in the coming year, and in the next legislative session, your Den-NPL legislators will continue our push for a restoration of the property tax relief that was promised to taxpayers. No property tax increases, plain and simple. We cannot balance the state’s budget by hiking property taxes. That’s not how we keep our promises to North Dakotans and it’s not how we ensure prosperity for our future.”
“Innovation is who we are as North Dakotans. It’s just a matter of recognizing and supporting it. Innovation doesn’t happen in boardrooms; it doesn’t need a hashtag on social media or an expensive PR strategy. Innovation happens every day in our cities, towns and rural communities — in the shop when a snowplow breaks down, in the classroom when a teacher lights that spark in a student’s learning, and in the farmer’s quonset, improvising for a pin that busted off during harvest.”
Rep. Guggisberg is a state legislator from District 11 and a Fargo Fire Department Capitan. In the legislature, he serves on the House Education Committee and Political Subdivisions Committee.