Other budget highlights

UPDATED…..BISMARCK–The North Dakota executive budget for the 2011-13 biennium is more than 300 pages, so Gov. Jack Dalrymple’s budget address Wednesday couldn’t touch on everything.

Here are some other items included in the budget:

- Office of the Attorney General. The executive recommendation includes one-time funding of $312,400 from the general fund for crime lab equipment and Bureau of Criminal Investigation undercover vehicles and a surveillance van.

- Office of Management and Budget. The budget includes one-time funding of $50,000 for a coordinator to plan events for North Dakota’s 125th anniversary. The State Historical Society of North Dakota also has a proposed one-time budget allocation of $50,000 for anniversary celebration planning and promotion. The event is in 2014.

- School for the Deaf. Nearly $1 million is slated for critical fire suppression, air handling, electrical service and other safety/health improvements to the school building, kitchen/dining building and dormitory.

The improvements are partially funded with $835,000 originally appropriated by the 2009 Legislature for remodeling of the Trades Building.

- Career and Technical Education. Grant funding is increased by $1 million to provide support for the establishment of one new virtual career and technical education center to expand offerings for students.

- Department of Human Services. Dalrymple recommends providing $3.4 million to hospitals for uncompensated care when serving Department of Human Services’ mental health clients. The budget includes $300,000 to increase funding available to senior service providers, a network of nonprofit agencies and volunteers delivering home and community-based services to the elderly.

- Industrial Commission. The governor recommends funding 10 new FTEs to conduct field inspections of drilling rigs and facilities; to ensure that all oil and gas production is accurately and timely reported; and to administer the subsurface minerals program.

- Office of the Adjutant General. The budget enhances the reintegration program for North Dakota soldiers by providing $150,000 from the general fund to establish a military service center in eastern North Dakota.

Similar to the one-stop resource center in Bismarck, the center would provide a multitude of transition services to veterans and their families.

- Highway Patrol. The budget provides one-time funding of $4.1 million (of which $3.6 million is from the general fund) for the construction of an emergency vehicle operations course and an indoor weapons training range for the Law Enforcement Training Academy. 

- Department of Commerce. As I reported earlier, Dalrymple wants to create a Division of Energy. This division would promote energy development within the state, handle energy infrastructure issues and mange renewable energy programs. 

Funding for the American Indian Business Office is increased by $100,000 to enable the office’s contract for services to assist Native American-owned businesses with procurement opportunities and job training.

- Game and Fish. A key initiative of the department has been the expansion of public hunting access on private land. The governor’s budget aims to continue the focus and authorizes $8.4 million, an increase of $1.4 million, for landowner payments to maintain public hunting access to over 1 million acres.

- Ag Department. The budget approves $50,000 from the general fund for contracted research of the transportation trends, policies and rates impacting the state’s agriculture industry.

- Parks and Recreation. The budget provides $700,000 ($350,000 from the general fund and $350,000 from federal funds) for a 48 campsite expansion at Grahams Island State Park near Devils Lake.

The entire budget can be found at www.nd.gov/fiscal/docs/budget/executivebudgetsummary2011-13.pdf

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