Should North Dakota Stop Budgeting on Projections & Move to Cash on Hand?

It’s no secret that North Dakota has had some issues with it’s budget lately. Last August the legislature was called into special session by then Governor Jack Dalrymple to address a budget shortfall. The 2017 legislative session is at the halfway mark and we will wait to see what the end budget will look like for the biennium. But one thing we do know is that revenue projections have been horribly inaccurate.

The North Dakota Office of Management and Budget recently reported that Sales Tax revenue came in over $40 million short of projections. That’s not chump change. And it’s not the first time projections have been way off. Which has caused me to wonder if it’s wise for our state to continue budgeting this way?

I recently mentioned to a state senator that perhaps the time has come for us to implement a plan to save enough over multiple biennium’s to begin budgeting off of. You know, to live within our means and to live off of what we have in the bank, not off of some potentially disastrous projections. Unfortunately, he was reluctant to agree with me, but he didn’t really explain why.

It’s admittedly not an idea that could be implemented immediately, but I think it’s worth looking into. Such a move would have the potential to bring greater fiscal restraint to a legislature that has spent like drunkards for far too long. Furthermore, it could eliminate the need for future special sessions to address budget shortfalls.

Perhaps there’s a downfall, but I sure haven’t thought of it yet.


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About T. Arthur Mason 883 Articles
T. Arthur Mason is a native North Dakotan who has spent nearly all of his life in the Peace Garden State. As the third of four children in Western North Dakota, Mason grew to appreciate family and the outdoors. Some of his fondest memories are annual deer hunts with family and friends. In his early teenage years, faith became a central part of T. Arthur Mason's life. He and the majority of his family attend church together on a weekly basis and find this a fulfilling aspect of their lives. Through the influence of his father, T. Arthur Mason became intrigued with politics. As a boy, he attended political events with his father and enjoyed the friendships that resulted as a byproduct of those political associations. As Mason grew older, he became convinced that the quote often attributed to Thomas Jefferson was true, "That government is best which governs least." Today, T. Arthur Mason enjoys time with his wife and children, an occasional hunt, and an increasingly active life on the political scene. This blog is the fulfillment of a dream to design a web site in the realm of politics and to advocate for the principles of Liberty and constitutionally limited government. On behalf of all those that contribute to The Minuteman, we hope you enjoy your time on the site and will share the message with others.