Governor Doug Burgum: “Historic Measure” On MHA Tribal Funding

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Bismarck – The financial future of one local tribal nation will be on the table tomorrow morning during the State Senate Finance and Taxation Committee meeting.

And they’re talking about a bill that just about everyone agrees on.

Thanks to discussions that have been years in the making, the MHA Nation may be one step closer to finally receiving the funds they so desperately need, funds that may be available thanks to Senate Bill 2312.

“What a win-win for the state and the tribe, you know, once we can get this thing passed. It’s gonna be a huge revenue builder for each tribe and the state” Said Scott Davis, North Dakota Indian Affairs Commission Executive Director

That was the message displayed Tuesday morning from a host of lawmakers, including Governor Doug Burgum, voicing their support for Senate Bill 2312.

“This legislation is not about simply splitting the pie, this is about how we have come together in North Dakota in the Bakken, MHA, and the State of North Dakota and how do we work together to grow the pie.” Said Governor Doug Burgum.

If passed, the bill would adjust oil and gas tax revenues for newly constructed rigs from it’s current 50-50 split to an 80-20 one that favors the tribe.

If the bill passes, Each new rig would generate around 16-million dollars every two years, money that’s badly needed on tribal lands, especially for infrastructure

“We’re talking about roads, we’re talking about housing infrastructure, all these things that will support and enhance continues development,” Said MHA Nation Chairman Marck Fox.

This bill is also expected to spur additional investment by the oil and gas industry on tribal lands and has democratic support.

Scott Davis is North Dakota’s Indian Affairs Commission Director and says Washington can learn from North Dakota when it comes to Native American relations.

“If you look to North Dakota, reaching across the isle, reaching across tribal lands, state lands, and coming up with some agreement, and having the respect and the courage to dialogue in a good respectful manner these are the things that can happen, it’s a win-win for everybody.”  Said Davis

Previously constructed oil rigs will maintain the 50-50 split.

If passed the bill is also expected to provide long-term funding for the legacy fund and state infrastructure.

Tomorrow’s hearing is scheduled for 10 am.

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