Positioning ND to compete
Gov. Doug Burgum made his pitch for business-friendly legislation while highlighting the state’s economic successes in delivering the keynote address at the Minot Area Chamber EDC’s annual meeting Monday. About 250 people attended.
Burgum spoke about his key legislative issues, including eliminating red tape, cutting income taxes, bolstering childcare access, workforce training and reviving a dwindling livestock industry.
In all these areas, the state is positioning itself to compete, he said.
“We have the resources to make smart investments that have high returns for taxpayers, and we have the ability to do smart, real, genuine tax relief for all the people that work for all of you – the people that are really driving North Dakota forward and help us be competitive with all these other states. Because we are in a competition for capital and talent. And right now, we are winning the capital battle. There’s over $40 billion of projects lined up to come to North Dakota for value-added ag and value-added energy. That’s an all-time record,” Burgum said.
However, every company looking at North Dakota wants to know if the state can deliver on workforce, he said.
“That’s why we need the income tax relief. That’s why we need the childcare. That’s why we need the other infrastructure projects, and that’s why we need communities that have vibrant, healthy downtowns that young people want to live in and raise their family in,” he said.
Burgum applauded Minot efforts to develop its intermodal facility, transform its downtown, work on military issues and flood control, support its educational centers and lead conversations on workforce.
“When you talk about a community that is engaged, Minot is always right there on the front, always part of these discussions,” he said.
Minot’s and North Dakota’s successes can’t be separated from the military, Burgum added. He noted the state is committed to being the most military-friendly state in the nation as well as at the top of the list of other areas that count.
“This is the best of America. It’s energy; It’s agriculture. It’s national defense. These are the things that really matter,” he said. “These are the things that North Dakota has got something to say about because we are doing it right here.”