Hoeven Signs $185 Million Bill To Invest In Economic, Development
Gov. John Hoeven signed Senate Bill 2018 today, the North Dakota Commerce Department budget bill that continues the state's strategic investments in economic, community and workforce development that have helped make North Dakota one of the strongest and most stable economies in the nation. The budget provides $185 million to further grow and diversify North Dakota's economy. Hoeven was joined for the signing by area legislators and university officials at UND Aerospace in Grand Forks.
"We've worked hard to create a top-notch business climate and real opportunities for our people by substantially reducing taxes and creating strong incentives for our targeted industries, including agriculture, energy, technology based businesses, advanced manufacturing and tourism," Hoeven said. "This legislation builds on this hard work and will continue to make North Dakota a great place for businesses to start or expand, creating better paying jobs and careers for our people."
The legislation also provides $20 million for Centers of Excellence grants, including $10 million for enhancement grants at UND and NDSU. These funds can be used to support base realignment activities in Grand Forks where Hoeven and other leaders are working to stimulate research activities between UND and aerospace and unmanned aircraft systems industries, as well as other research opportunities made possible with realignment of the base.
The $39 million in Centers of Excellence funding so far has produced nearly $170 million in total economic impact to date.
The enhanced grants support the goals of the community to use the valuable research and infrastructure resources that exist in the community to develop and commercialize new technologies to replace the economic activity lost through recent base reductions.
Hoeven said the budget invests strongly in energy, agriculture and tourism marketing. He also cited increased funding for innovation, entrepreneurship and workforce retention programs aimed at involving young people in North Dakota careers before they make decisions to move out of state.
"Building a workforce to fuel ongoing business growth in our state is a vital ongoing activity," said Commerce Commissioner Shane Goettle. "Likewise, we know that the most promising businesses of the future will be born and nurtured right here by our own entrepreneurs and innovators. This budget makes smart investments in these areas."
The Governor will veto one section of the bill as a technical correction. Section 24 would duplicate completed and ongoing studies and analyses conducted by the Department of Commerce and independent economists. It would also require the State Auditor to do an economic impact study, which is not the function of the State Auditor's Office. The State Auditor already has authority to audit any independent economic analysis commissioned by the Department of Commerce, which is the State Auditor's role.
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