Legislators continue to grapple with law capping federal spending

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State lawmakers continue to grapple with a new law requiring legislative input when approving large sums of federal money.

North Dakota’s Government Finance Committee met this week, where they discussed solutions to some of the obstacles Senate Bill 2290 creates.

The law limits the state’s Emergency Commission from approving federal funding requests greater than $50 million every two years.

In order to do so, the governor would have to call a special session to have all lawmakers vote.

Senator Ray Holmberg voted for the bill and says, overall, it’s good policy to involve the legislature in spending decisions, but changes to the law may be necessary to prevent future delays in spending.

“Personally, I think that what we did overall in the Emergency Commission and budget section was good policy, but there was that element lacking, which the constitution says the legislature appropriates money,” Holmberg said.

The committee will next meet in September to discuss changes to the spending limits, possibly raising the threshold of money required for a special session to be called.

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