The North Dakota Legislative session ends early this morning, setting records in many ways.
North Dakota lawmakers spent most of their final day of the session working out the details on the property tax relief package.
Their 80th day took them into the wee hours of this morning, making this the longest legislative session in history.
History was also made in passing a property tax relief package.
Donnell Preskey has the details.
One of the last actions of the legislative session…
"That's major tax relief for the people of North Dakota it's money back in their pockets," says Mandan Senator Dwight Cook.
One of the most memorable for North Dakota lawmakers.
The property tax relief package totals $857 million dollars. $657 million through education funding, another $200 million to directly buy down property taxes.
Grand Forks Representative Corey Mock says, "It's really great step, it helps answer the calls that North Dakotan's have been asking for."
"When North Dakotan's get their property tax statements next year they will be able to look at it and see what the state of North Dakota is putting in and it's a substantial amount," says Representative Mark Dosch of Bismarck.
House Majority Leader, Representative Al Carlson, says "This is the largest we have ever given out and we are the only state in the union doing it. We are blessed with a lot of resources and our priorities are such we are giving money back to the people of North Dakota."
The total tax relief package, combining property, income and corporate tax relief is $1.1 Billion. A deal most legislators are celebrating...
"Big numbers, it's a good number," says Senator Cook.
Democrats protested any corporate or income tax relief the entire session.
Senate Minority Leader, Mac Schneider says, "that's a quarter of a billion dollars that could have gone towards deeper and more sustained property tax relief."
Other lawmakers look to the future to do even more.
"I just got two more emails tonight, "when are my property taxes going to start going down?" They are going to slow down the process of going up but they aren't going to go down much and they will start going up. We still don't have the right handle on it. We need to go to work in the interim and get something that really works in the next session," says Representative Jim Kasper of Fargo.
It took lawmakers a record amount of days to finalize 535 bills. Their 80th day went into Saturday with the final action at 4:40 a.m.
Shortly after the property tax plan passed the House and Senate, Governor Dalrymple was in the chambers visiting with lawmakers.
Dalrymple says this will go down as the greatest session in history.
He says many budgets were historic.
Dalrymple says the top highlight is the property tax relief package along with the reforms lawmakers made in funding education at both the K-12 and higher ed levels.
He also says he's impressed by the huge commitment lawmakers made to improve infrastructure.
"Roads and highways, water projects, capitol improvements on college campuses take in together some $2.5 billion I heard up to $3 billion if count everything, truly figures a few years ago we would have never imagined seeing in North Dakota," says Governor Jack Dalrymple.
Lawmakers' spending equals $14 Billion for the 2013-2015 biennium.
One time expenses tripled this session to 2.2 Billion.
That money will be spent on building, road and water projects across the state.
Even with all the spending, there is expected to be $87 million left over in the general fund.