A bill intended to provide surge funding for western North Dakota passed its first hurdle today after a vote in the N.D. Senate.
Each of the state’s 47 senators, except for two, voted in the bill’s favor.
Sen. Bill Bowman, R-Bowman, told the Pioneer moments after the Senate voted today that the surge bill was passed in a 45-2 vote.
The bill provides a one-time $1.1 billion “surge” funding to areas affected by the Bakken Oil Boom in western North Dakota. The funding would be distributed to counties and cities affected by the boom.
Bowman said now the bill would likely be fast-tracked for a vote in the N.D. House of Representatives. If approved in the House, it then would head to the governor’s desk.
Two proposals for the surge funding were debated Jan. 16 during a legislative hearing on the issue—one, proposed by Gov. Jack Dalrymple, excluded funding for counties, while another, set forth by the people, allocated funds to oil-impacted cities and counties, including Bowman County.
The $1.1 billion in funds would be directed for infrastructural needs, such as the creation of roads, building affordable housing and spurring other community development.