Tune in today for State of the State

This morning, from Minot, Gov. Doug Burgum is set to deliver an uncommon off-year State of the State address. Hopefully, the message delivered will also be uncommon for such events in general.

Whether you’re attending or following on the simulcast, Minot Daily News encourages everyone within range of this address to tune in, pay attention and see what Burgum has to say.

Typically, State of the State addresses are like State of the Union addresses – an opportunity for the chief executive to site his administration’s accomplishments to date, review the current condition of the state (particularly in terms of economics and reform) and set down a groundwork for what is expected to come. Often it’s a little lap-taking by the party in charge followed immediately by criticism from the opposition.

Burgum isn’t every other politician though. He isn’t a lifelong pol. His business acumen and intellect are anything but ordinary. Unlike some other politicians, also, when Burgum says he is looking to adapt, to innovate, to make bold moves and changes – he has the private sector resume to demonstrate that he means what he says and in the right environment can deliver. This latter, admirable trait, is what makes this address so appealing.

Surely, Burgum will recount successes of his administration. He confronted a crippling budget shortfall last year that saw him occasionally at odds even with his own party. He should be proud of his administration’s embrace of the need to address the opioid epidemic. He’s just started to really crank up his efforts at instilling modern urbanist philosophy in North Dakota’s cities. Furthermore, he has signaled his willingness to take on some sacred cows in order to make the state better for all residents.

Burgum is also likely to express optimism with the current state of affairs. We remain a well-managed state by virtually all measures.

It is where we go from here that makes this address most interesting. A visionary leader tempered now by more than a year in office, much of Burgum’s electoral support stemmed from his being an outsider, a businessman, a man in pursuit of change. After his time in office, what does he now hope to accomplish? What does he believe will benefit voters accustomed to a single mantra of low taxes from the state’s dominant party and fealty to fringe position takers from the minority party?

It’s an interesting situation in which to be for one of the nation’s most interesting elected officials. Burgum promised innovation, he has yet to demonstrate he can’t deliver, and the possibilities are intriguing.

Don’t miss this opportunity to hear first-hand how innovation could materialize in our near future. Mr. Burgum warrants our attention.

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