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North Dakota Legislature poised to set budget starting point

January 8, 2019

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — It’s the North Dakota Legislature’s turn to establish a starting point for state government’s next two-year budget.

Members of the North Dakota House and Senate’s appropriations committees are meeting Wednesday afternoon. The committees will estimate the state’s tax collections for the next two years, largely by attempting to predict what the price of oil may do during that time.

Gov. Doug Burgum has proposed a $14.3 billion spending plan. But oil prices have slid in recent weeks and that could have the Legislature setting its 2019-2020 budget plan well below the governor’s request.

Burgum’s budget plan and a forecast by the Legislature’s own economic consultancy both expect oil prices to rise.

The governor doesn’t control the state’s checkbook. It’s the Legislature that decides how much to spend on state government.

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