Lawmakers Approve Funding $1.1 Billion in Funding to Oil Country - KXNet.com - Bismarck/Minot/Williston/Dickinson-KXNEWS,ND

Lawmakers Approve Funding $1.1 Billion in Funding to Oil Country

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North Dakota lawmakers approve sending $1.1 Billion to western North Dakota.

Western North Dakota has seen an explosion of growth with people and companies chasing oil.

Today, the North Dakota legislature makes a historical move by dedicating over $1 Billion to help cities, counties, townships, law enforcement, ambulance, hospitals and many others with the impacts they suffer from with the oil development of oil.

Never before has the state committed this much money to help western North Dakota catch up and plan for the future as oil activity continues.

The House passed the oil impact funding last night and the Senate gave their final approval this morning.

A boom is a mixed blessing. There are a few people that get rich, communities grow. But there are a number of people who get left behind, high rents with no additional income, dusty, dirty, broken roads," says Crosby Senator John Andrist.

Senator Jim Dotzenrod from Wyndmere says, "It is historic in the way the legislature has decided it is time to get a part of this revenue back to the part of the state where it originated."

We've made a shift in recognizing that the impacts of the oil development are more than gravel and culverts. We've started to address those human issues, those social issues. We're doing it through grants to hospitals and through EMS and law enforcement grants," says Ryder Senator John Warner.

Williston Senator Stan Lyson says, "Thank you very much, you can't believe what this is going to do for our area."

Some western North Dakota lawmakers say while they are appreciative of the money in this bill, oil producing counties are still not getting their fair share of the oil production tax revenues.

The bill now goes to the Governor for his signature.

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