Can state dollars be used to fund school construction?
That's an argument that was fought long and hard during the recent bond debate in Minot over the last few months.
The understood answer is 'No' -- but legislators in the Minot area are seeking a firm answer, straight from the Attorney General.
All Minot-area legislators have sent a request for an opinion to the office of Attorney General Wayne Stenhejem wondering if the Common Schools Trust Fund can be tapped to help fund school construction.
Rep. Scott Louser says it isn't just information that is of interest to the Minot area --- rather state-wide.
School space is an issue --- and they want to know where can the state legally use its resources.
(Scott Louser, (R) Minot) "We have a problem here that we have to resolve. This is one of the avenues that we are taking as legislators to see if this is something that we can do for our community, but it is something that would impact the whole state. There is a substantial amount of money there and we are wondering can we borrow against it or can there be grants? So we have submitted the request to the attorney general."
The Minot delegation is hoping to hear back from Attorney General Wayne Stenhejem in the early part of 2014.
The Minot School Board was told by state officials in the lead-up to the bond election in Minot this week that funds could NOT be used for school construction.