Roughrider Roundup – February 20, 2023

Happy Monday!

Dear Fellow Republicans, 

We wanted to provide you with a roundup of everything you might have missed from North Dakota’s great Republican leaders this past week. Please share with family and friends!

Perrie Schafer, NDGOP Chairman

Photo of the Week

Governor Burgum: Grateful to receive the 101st Report to the State from the Northern Lights BSA and meet some of our outstanding scouts doing great work in communities all across North Dakota!


Thank you, Speaker Kevin McCarthy, for becoming the first Speaker of the House to visit the U.S. Southern Border! – Perrie/

ND 68th Legislative Session

Just a few bills to put on your radar! -Perrie

Property & Income Tax Relief

Both chambers are working diligently on income and property tax relief packages. This is a priority between both the House and Senate. The final dollar amounts are still being discussed and will be shared as soon as they are finalized.

Enhanced Penalty for Fentanyl Distributors

HB1447: Relating to creation of the opioid settlement fund; to amend and reenact section 5 of chapter 3 of the 2021 Session Laws, relating to the funding of the opioid treatment and prevention program; to provide for a transfer; and to declare an emergency.

SB2248: Relating to a special penalty for death or injury through distribution of illegal drugs, fentanyl reporting, and an opioid settlement fund; to provide a penalty; and to provide an appropriation.

School Athletic Teams – Rep. Ben Koppelman

HB1249: Relating to requiring schools to designate their athletic teams and sports for male, female, or coed participation and limitations on use of governmental property for athletic events.

North Dakota

Water fight: 24 states sue EPA and Corps over definition, control of ‘navigable waters’
N.D. Attorney General Drew Wrigley said he pushed for the case to be filed in North Dakota and the other states in the case agreed it was the appropriate venue due to the outsized impact of the rule on the state. “When you look at the ratio of impacted acreage, I don’t know that there’s a state with more of a negative impact than North Dakota because of our unique geology with regard to our surface water and the potholes across much of the state – and then streams and rivers and also the drainage that falls into this – it is dramatic, it is all encompassing. I felt that it was important to file this lawsuit at what is really ground zero of the negative impact of this enactment by federal agencies,” Wrigley said…North Dakota’s congressional delegation and Governor Doug Burgum have been vocal in their opposition to the new rule. Wrigley is continuing the battle that his predecessor Wayne Stenehjem waged for years.

His grandmother saw Sitting Bull. His great-grandmother clashed with Custer. Gov. Burgum’s deep Dakota roots
Doug Burgum often stopped at his grandmother’s house after grade school for a chess lesson sweetened by the jar of lemon drops she always kept on hand. Those meetings as a first grader with his paternal grandmother, who lived a block away on an unpaved street, are the source of fond memories from the childhood of North Dakota’s 33rd governor. “It was a happy place to stop at grandmother’s house,” he said. Burgum knew his grandmother to be an accomplished amateur artist, a former school teacher and co-founder of the family’s grain business in Arthur. Burgum Hall, a women’s dormitory at North Dakota State University, was named after her in the 1960s, honoring the first female to attend what originally was North Dakota Agricultural College. “That was something that was always talked about,” he said. But it was only later that Burgum learned of his grandmother’s gritty pioneer past as one of the first children born in 1873 in what would become Bismarck, the daughter of a former army doctor and the frontier town’s first postmistress and superintendent of schools.

Bismarck State College sees big jump in enrollment
The Bismarck Tribune
The State Board of Higher Education approved BSC’s charter to become a polytechnic institution in 2018. The mission focuses on workforce development, a priority of Gov. Doug Burgum. BSC last November started construction on a $38 million Polytechnic Education Center. The 2021 Legislature allocated the funding from federal coronavirus relief money. About $3 million will be set aside for things such as academic programs and startup costs, and the remaining funds will be used for the building.

N.D. Water Commission Approves $47.7 Million In Cost-Share Projects
AM 890 AG News
At the North Dakota State Water Commission (SWC) meeting chaired by Governor Doug Burgum Monday, the SWC approved $47.7 million in cost-share requests. The SWC voted to approve funding for several flood mitigation, general water, and municipal, regional and rural water supply projects, including large construction contracts related to the Northwest Area Water Supply (NAWS) project…The 10-member SWC consists of Burgum as chairman, Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring and eight members appointed by the governor to serve six-year terms.

This nurse’s mom inspired him to step into his scrubs
KX News
On February 16, 2022, Governor Doug Burgum dedicated this week as Nurses Week, to honor all that nurses do in our state.

$2.5B power line planned from central North Dakota to southeastern Montana
The Bismarck Tribune
Power grid capacity and reliability are big concerns, according to North Dakota Public Service Commissioner Julie Fedorchak. “North Dakota is an electricity-exporting state. We produce much more electricity than we consume and export it to customers in other states through our transmission system,” she said. “We have incredible potential to produce more, and the nation is going to need it. In order to do that, however, we need more transmission lines to get the power to the customers who want it because our current transmission system is nearly full.”

Loss of Canadian travelers cost North Dakota $344M in tourism revenue since mid-2020, tourism leader says
Grand Forks Herald
Otte Coleman said that in addition to her agency’s efforts, Gov. Doug Burgum has been advocating for the elimination of vaccine requirements at the U.S. border, as well as for extended hours at ports of entry. “We’ll continue to pound the drum. Whether we’ll see any results remains to be seen,” said Otte Coleman.

Washington, D.C.

Biden demands gun reforms while brushing bipartisan calls for border security, both sides claim ‘common sense’
Fox News
Biden’s words came as Sen. Kevin Cramer, R-ND, has accused him of avoiding the southern border and failing to “acknowledge the catastrophe at the southern border and makes common sense reforms to stem the tide.” “For two solid years, President Biden has avoided the southern border, turned a blind eye to agents overwhelmed by the influx in illegal crossings, and glossed over the devastating impacts on our nation,” Cramer said in a statement published Feb. 10. “The administration must act to address the urgent humanitarian and crime crises it created. These bills acknowledge the catastrophe at the southern border and makes common sense reforms to stem the tide.”

North Dakota Senator addresses concerns over northern border crossing spike
According to the Customs and Border Patrol website, there were more than 1,200 encounters along North Dakota’s border with Canada over the past four months. Sen. Kevin Cramer, R-ND, said those numbers are concerning. He says more data is needed but it could be because of the lifting of some COVID restrictions. He adds that legal migration could be beneficial to the economy. ”I personally believe that we need to work a lot harder on illegal immigration side as well as on people seeking asylum and providing a better opportunity for them to go to work rather than pay them not to work,” said Cramer. Cramer said his goal is to increase funding for customs and border protections as well as the use of drone technology with sensors and cameras.

Rick Scott Drops Social Security From Plan as G.O.P. Retreats From Entitlement Cuts
The New York Times
The decision to sideline the benefit programs in the budget debate worries some, given that the programs are unsustainable in their current trajectory and will need adjustments. “Are we just going to lie to the American public and say Social Security and Medicare will be fine if you don’t do anything with them?” asked Senator Kevin Cramer, Republican of North Dakota. “The longer we wait, the more dramatic the fix will be. It is the driver of the debt.”

Sen. Cramer Pays Up With Bison Burgers and Brats in FCS Loss to SDSU
Senators from North Dakota and South Dakota are enjoying some locally made products after a friendly wager on the FCS championship game. Since the NDSU Bison lost to the SDSU Jackrabbits, Sen. Kevin Cramer upheld his end of the bet with bison burgers and brats for Sen. Rounds and his staff. Rounds brought jackrabbit ice cream for everyone to enjoy. Senators John Hoeven and John Thune and their staffs all joined in on the celebrating.

Main Street Caucus eyes ‘pragmatic’ conservative wins
CQ Roll Call
Rep. Kelly Armstrong, R-N.D., another executive board member, said the caucus includes members from all ideological spectrums and geographical areas. In Congress, they serve on different committees and focus on different legislative priorities. “I think that’ll be a strength for us, not a weakness,” he said. “I think it gives us the opportunity to build coalitions, maybe in places that other other groups can’t.”

Grand Forks City Council members receive next steps and updates following Fufeng project
Grand Forks Herald
City Council members on Monday were provided an overview of possible next steps now that the proposed Fufeng wet corn mill plant project isn’t moving forward. In addition to BRIC, Feland said the city works with Sens. John Hoeven and Kevin Cramer on military issues. The city also attends meetings at the Pentagon.
Abby Redfearn Working As U.S. Senate Page
Abby Redfearn, a Junior at VCHS, spent the Fall semester in Washington D.C. working as a Senate Page in the US Senate Page Program. Page duties center around assisting Senators in the Senate Chamber when Congress is in session and consist primarily of delivery of correspondence and legislative material. Other duties include taking messages for Members, calling them to the phone, preparing the Chamber for Senate sessions, and carrying bills and amendments to the desk.

Republican Plans for Oversight Are Plainly Underdone
The Washington Post
Was there any substance? Yes. North Dakota Republican Kelly Armstrong raised valid questions about digital privacy and how the government should handle people’s personal information. But the rest of his time was devoted to typical Republican grievances.  

ND senators satisfied with their security
Minot Daily News
The office of Sen. John Hoeven, R-ND, issued a statement saying the senator opposed the omnibus bill because he believed it included too much spending. Regarding the residential security program, Hoeven said he has no plans to utilize the funding made available in the bill. Sen. Kevin Cramer, R-ND, said $2.5 million would not be an unreasonable estimate of the cost in Washington for assessments on the homes of all 100 senators. However, he feels no need for the assessment himself. A former House member, Cramer chose to have Capitol Police provide a security assessment after moving to the higher profile Senate office four years ago.

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