NORTH DAKOTA (KXNET) — Governor Doug Burgum laid out his pitch for the next two years’ state budget.

In a joint session of the House and Senate, Governor Doug Burgum unveiled his $18.4 billion proposal, which raises state spending by more than 3%.

It includes $3 billion in infrastructure funding as well as increases in workforce development funding and public employee salaries.

The Governor estimates the state has more than 35,000 vacant jobs.

One issue Burgum wants to fast-track is funding growing school districts sooner. The current plan gives money to schools based on the prior year’s student count, which puts Williston and Watford City at a disadvantage.

“He’s recommending we go to full on-time funding, which would really help out those growing school districts and also protect the ones that are existing right now. I thought that was a good message he had. We tried to do it last session, we compromised on a growth pattern of five to seven years to get there. He wants to accelerate that. I’m fully behind that,” said Senator Brad Bekkedahl (R) District 1.

Burgum is also asking for more full-time employees on state reservations and close to $6 billion in the general fund