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North Dakota ends budget cycle with more cash than forecast

BISMARCK (AP) — North Dakota ended its two-year budget cycle in June with about $250 million more than expected due to strong crude oil prices and better-than-anticipated earnings from the state’s oil tax savings account.
Budget director Joe Morrissette told a panel of legislators Wednesday that the state’s current budget cycle that began July 1 already is running more than $42 million ahead of projections.
Morrissette says the state’s previous budget assumed earnings of $300 million from the state’s voter-approved Legacy Fund. He says the fund currently holds about $6.8 billion and had earnings of $455 million the last budget cycle.
The current budget represents about $4.9 billion in state general fund spending. General fund spending is up about 12.5% from what was approved by lawmakers two years ago.