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ND Democrats say the people should have a say in CARES Act dollars

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Members of the North Dakota Democratic-NPL House and Senate are requesting for a special legislative session in regards to how CARES Act funding should be allocated.

On Thursday, Gov. Doug Burgum, along with the North Dakota Emergency Commission, will decide how $400-million of the $1.25-billion of federal CARES Act dollars will be spent.

The Dem-NPL says it’s not fair for six members of the Republican party to decide what to do with these funds.

Sen. Tim Mathern of District 11 says citizens should have an input on how these funds are spent in the state, and that’s why the party is calling for a special session to happen within the next 30 days.

“My goal is that it will happen within the month. Within 30 days. That would be the best for helping counties, cities and townships with a budget. It will help in terms of getting in front of what’s going on starting up universities and schools,” explained Mathern.

Democrats also hope to pass a $1-billion transportation bonding bill that would help municipalities with their upcoming budgets.

With the uncertainty of what oil revenue will look like in the months to come and how much money will be available through the Prairie Dog fund, Democrats say this bill with balance out the missing dollars.

“In our particular area of the state we have road conditions that are in such disrepair that our farmers can’t get to their fields to harvest the 2019 crop so they can put in the 2020 crop,” shared Sen. Larry Robinson of District 24.

According to Sen. Mathern, 14 districts will be completely left out the process.

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