On the Record: Governor Candidates on Where Spending Would be a Good Decision

On the Record is a weekly column where you get a chance to get to know our Governor candidates. Without a Democrat in the race, leadership for the next four years will be decided at the June primary election. That makes it our job to get to know these guys now.

Each Thursday we’ll ask a question of our Governor candidates, the following Thursday we’ll publish their answer and ask a new question. Candidates are free to provide a written answer, a Youtube video, or a Soundcloud audio clip.

This week’s question:

The need to reduce state spending is widely accepted, but in business, life, and government, sometimes a smart investment will deliver improved outcomes or efficiencies that justify the spending. If the legislature appropriated a million dollars for the Governor to invest in improving some aspect of our state government’s operations or services, where would you prioritize that spending and what outcomes would you aim to achieve?

Next week’s question:

When it comes to the oil field, the balance between regulatory policy, development, human, and environmental interests is a delicate one. Have we achieved the proper balance, or are there changes or tweaks we should make to the way we regulate and incentivize the industry that would produce better or needed outcomes for North Dakota? If so, please talk specifically about changes and/or needed outcomes.

Past questions:

On the Record is a weekly series that allows you to get to know our Governor candidates side-by-side, on a single issue, in their own words. Navigate the tabs and answers by clicking or touching each candidate’s name. And when we do get a Democratic candidate, they’ll be given the opportunity to answer as well.

Mr. Rick Becker on effective spending…

I would pay a legitimate consulting firm the one million dollars as a fee to improve the efficiency of state government, to identify redundancies, and eliminate waste. These savings would need to come without any significant decrease in the quality of necessary services provided by the state. As a part of the overall assessment, a full utilization plan for the North Dakota University System (NDUS) would be required.

I would have a fee schedule stipulated that would set reimbursement at a 750:1 ratio of dollars saved to dollars charged as a fee. If the consultants were able to save the state $200M, they would receive $267,000. To receive the full $1M, they would need to find ways to save the state $750M! Now that would be a million dollars I’d actually be eager to spend.

— Rick Becker


Rick Becker for Governor

On every issue affecting North Dakota, Rick has a solution that gives people the greatest degree of choice and liberty, keeps money in the taxpayers pockets and is best for North Dakota families.


Mr. Doug Burgum on effective spending…

The first step in solving a problem is acknowledging the problem exists. Optimism does not change the fact that North Dakota is at an economic and fiscal crossroads, with a shrinking economy, runaway state government spending, and a $1.1 billion – and growing – budget shortfall.

If there was an extra $1 million to spend, I would advocate for lower taxes for North Dakota citizens and keep that money in the private sector. However, in the upcoming budget session, there won’t be an extra $1, much less $1 million, and it is going to require innovation and fresh ideas to reduce government spending and balance the budget.

I am proven job creator and leader who has spent 33 years working in the real economy in North Dakota creating thousands of great jobs and growing businesses. I know how to create innovative solutions to serious problems and how to build something of value that works for the long haul. It would be my honor to serve as governor of the great state of North Dakota and help lead us through this crossroads.

— Doug Burgum


Doug Burgum for North Dakota

With your help, we can continue to diversify our state’s economy, create long lasting jobs, and generate opportunities for our citizens to flourish and succeed in North Dakota.


Mr. Wayne Stenehjem on effective spending…

Mr. Stenehjem did not submit an answer to this week’s question.


Stenehjem for Governor

I’ll use the experience I gained in my years in the legislature to continue to work hard for ND as your governor.

Josh Wolsky

Editor and Publisher of TheMinotVoice, Developer of the #ForMinot Network,  Co-Host of #GoodTalk Minot, Advocate and Friend of the Souris River, Former City Alderman, and clearly -- all things #MakeMinot. Go ahead, don't wait for permission!

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