BISMARCK, ND (KXNET) — Governor Doug Burgum is delivering the annual State of the State address before a joint session of the North Dakota Legislature.

The address historically provides an overview of the governor’s plans for the state budget, legislative initiatives and the direction of the state over the next biennium.

It’s also an opportunity for the governor to tout successes the state had during the preceding year.

You can watch the governor’s address live at the KX News website.

You can read the governor’s complete State of the State address here.

Burgum started off his address noting the state’s 65 million-year-old geologic gift of oil, along with underground storage caverns and other natural resources that, today, play into North Dakota’s energy resources and opportunities.

“Today, the state of our state is strength,” Burgum said.

Burgum noted North Dakotans’ strength in 2022, given the April, November and December blizzards. “North Dakotans have handled it all with grit and resiliency,” he said.

He spent much of his opening honoring Department of Transportation workers, first responders and others who risked their lives to help others during the storms and during normal, non-emergency service.

Burgum said federal relief money is available to help mitigate the impacts of 2022 storms. “Let’s make this relief bill one of the first bills to reach my desk,” Burgum said.

Burgum noted the state’s new record of 779,261 residents. Since 2021, the state had added the population equivalent of another Grand Forks and Minot.

The governor took time to recognize and thank those who helped lay the foundation for North Dakota’s overall energy growth and development.

Burgum thanked North Dakota’s farmers and ranchers for all they do to feed the state and the world.

At the same time, Burgum also urged a legislative effort to remove what he called “archaic” laws that “handcuff” North Dakota animal operations from growing to competitive levels.

Burgum noted the successes North Dakota has had in developing carbon capture operations.

Burgum criticized President Biden’s efforts to shut down the fossil fuel industry.

Burgum said state tourism needs more focus and development to attract more people to what North Dakota has to offer as attractions and recreation.

Burgum took the opportunity to announce Harold Hamm recently made a $50 million gift to the Theodore Roosevelt Presidential Library to help in completion of the complex.

Burgum said a North Dakota Military Museum is planned for Bismarck to honor those North Dakotans who distinguished themselves in service, combat and in sacrificing their lives. The museum would highlight a long history of various military branches

Burgum also highlighted North Dakota’s leading efforts in unmanned aerial flight, particularly in the Grand Forks area. He noted the Federal Aviation Administration recently granted initial approval to fly a drone beyond “line of sight” requirements — a major advance in developing the unmanned flight industry.

Burgum also urged more support for innovative growth in education and addiction recovery.

“Collaboration with our tribal neighbors has never been stronger,” Burgum said in recognizing and honoring the various tribal chairmen his administration works with regularly.

Burgum wants to make sure continuing training and education centers are built as planned to help fill the thousands of open jobs in the state. Federal money has been allocated for these projects, but the money is currently help up in Washington, D.C. Burgum said the centers need to be built, even if it means providing Bank of North Dakota loans that will be repaid once the federal dollars are released.

Burgum urged passage of a flat tax system that eliminates or reduces taxes for North Dakotans. The goal is to ultimately end the state income tax at some point.

Local property tax relief is also a concern. One plan for some is to eliminate property taxes on military service personnel.

Burgum asked North Dakotans to “empower people, fulfill lives and inspire success.”

“It’s an unbelievable time to be in North Dakota,” Burgum said. His challenge to all North Dakotans going forward is to strive to employ the incredible tools we have, learn from others, bridge differences and the have the humility to change.

“Dare more greatly,” Burgum said. “We’re all here today because we love the state,” he added. “Let us all remember to love one another.”

You can read the governor’s complete State of the State address here.