While hundreds of bills have been introduced this session, some of the biggest-ticket items have been related to infrastructure bonding.
Those proposals aim to fund infrastructure projects, but since the start of the session, one has been whittled down in cost, and another eliminated entirely. The billion-dollar bills would use legacy fund money, which includes nearly $8 billion of oil tax revenue, to pay back bonds sold to investors.
Gov. Doug Burgum proposed a $1.25 billion plan, while Republicans have slashed theirs from $1.11 billion to $680 million, and the $2 billion Dem-NPL bill sponsored by Sen. Tim Mathern got nixed in the Senate just this week.
“This bill has no private projects, has no special interest projects. This bill is not like bills of the past where we’ve had a concept, and then to get a vote here we put a project here, to get a vote there we put a project here and we create a Christmas tree bill,” Mathern said.
Mathern’s bill failed by a vote of 7 to 40, so it appears the last viable one is the GOP’s $680 million plan. That proposal would include money for the Fargo diversion flood project, the highway fund and NDSU for an agriculture center among other projects.