Governor Doug Burgum has vetoed Senate Bill 2055, which creates a budget section of 42 legislative members who would have authority over budget when the legislature is not in session.
Burgum cites legislative overreach and an unconstitutional delegation of power to the Legislature’s Budget Section.
In his veto message, Burgum referenced a ND Supreme Court ruling that found the Legislature overstepped its constitutional authority by delegating power over spending decision to the Budget Section.
“This bill is fundamentally flawed because it disregards the Supreme Court’s ruling and attempts to enshrine in state law the Budget Section’s unconstitutional practice of acting as a mini-Legislature,” Burgum said. “Instead of addressing the issue raised in last year’s ruling and properly balancing authority between the branches of government, Senate Bill 2055 makes the problem worse. We urge legislators to reject this bill and work collaboratively with the executive branch to avoid further litigation and develop common-sense policy that benefits the taxpayers of North Dakota.”
Senate Majority Leader, Sen. Rich Wardner (R-District 37) said this bill was voted on by the entire legislature and was meant to clear up concerns raised in the previous session.
“Before, we didn’t have anything in statute that allowed us to do it. This way we put it in statute voted on by the whole legislature to allow us to do it so we feel that gives us the flexibility to take care of business,” he said.
A copy of the governor’s veto message to the Legislature is attached.