As Expected, the Legislature is Giving Governor Burgum His Library

Last week we broke the news that there were constitutional issues with House Bill 1320. This, of course, was the bill that was completely hijacked in an effort to push funding for the Theodore Roosevelt Presidential Library & Museum through. HB 1320 originally had nothing to do with the library. In fact, it was a bill “relating to [the] Red River valley water supply project”.

Because of issues relating to “germaneness” of the legislation, it was undoubtedly unconstitutional. In the days following the article, legislators came to the realization this was indeed true. And rather than move forward with it, they decided to switch gears and tuck the library into the governor’s budget on Senate Bill 2001 instead. Such a move wasn’t surprising. Everyone knew they’d find a way to get it done.

The Senate passed SB 2001 yesterday on a vote of 34-13. Only Senator Joan Heckaman (D – District 23) stood to oppose the bill on the Senate floor. She rightfully pointed out that private dollars should be enough to fund it. The fact that Heckaman — a Democrat — stood to say such a thing while the super-majority of her Republican colleagues pushed the bill through should be an embarrassment to them.

After a long debate in the House today, they followed suit and approved SB 2001 by a vote of 76-16. Not only does this pass the bill, but the Emergency Clause carried with it— meaning the bill will go into effect as soon as Governor Burgum signs it.

No amount of logic or principle was going to stop the 2019 North Dakota Legislature and Governor Doug Burgum from getting the funding for the Theodore Roosevelt Presidential Library & Museum. Excellent arguments — like those from Rep. Dan Johnston (R – District 24) — simply didn’t matter.

What message does it send when this same legislature has shot down proposal after proposal to save the taxpayers of North Dakota money, while committing $50 million towards a library that honors a man who wasn’t a great president? I’d suggest not a very good one.

Once again, the taxpayers of North Dakota are the losers. But hey, at least Governor Burgum gets his library.




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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.