Legislature Rejects Dalrymple Budget


Governor Jack Dalrymple

At 10:00 am today, Republican Governor Jack Dalrymple presented his final budget to the Legislative Assembly. As you likely know, Dalrymple decided to not seek another term. Doug Burgum will take over later in the month. The budget has been met with mixed reviews from those I’ve talked to. For the short glance I’ve had the opportunity to see, there is some good and some not so good.

By 4:00 pm today, Republican leadership in the Legislature seemingly rejected Governor Jack Dalrymple’s final budget. After what has been described to me as “aggressive questioning” of Office of Management and Budget Director Pam Sharp by House Appropriations Chair Jeff Delzer, the budget was set aside. Rumors are this left Dalrymple and Sharp furious. Apparently, the intention is to take it up in January when the regular session begins. Maybe, that is. Rather than taking up Dalrymple’s fresh budget proposal, House Majority Leader Al Carlson moved to use the 2015-2017 revised budget as the base. The motion passed.

The Legislature being lukewarm to the Governor’s proposed budget isn’t anything new. The body prides itself on holding the purse strings of state government. Often they view the Governor’s proposal as mere suggestions. This, however, seems like a rather direct affront to the outgoing administration. Or, perhaps it was a signal to incoming Governor Doug Burgum. A sign of things to come?

Basically, Rep. Jeff Delzer, Rep. Al Carlson, and the rest of the voting members of the Budget Section told Governor Dalrymple, “Thanks for playing, don’t let the door hit you on the way out.”