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North Dakota and Minn. display sound management

Daily News, Wahpeton, N.D.

Through effective legislation and fiscal monitoring, the state of North Dakota has been showing extremely positive budget numbers for the past few years.

State government is running North Dakota with a huge surplus left to continue operations, giving residents property tax relief, maintaining a healthy reserve and investing in the future. During a time where many states were running with negative budgets, North Dakota has flourished.

An annual 24/7 Wall Street study looked at data on all states, ranking them on financial health, standard of living and government services to determine how each state is managed. The top five best-run states leads with North Dakota and rounds out to include Wyoming, Nebraska, Utah and Iowa. It was the first time North Dakota ranked as the best-run state in the 24/7 Wall Street study.

“This study recognizes that North Dakota’s sound fiscal policies are working,” Gov. Jack Dalrymple said. “We are in a strong position to provide tax relief, maintain a healthy reserve while also investing in our priorities.”

Dalrymple said the study determines how well states are run by looking at fiscal management, taxes, exports and GDP growth by sectors, as well as quality of life components such as poverty, income, unemployment, high school graduation, crime and foreclosure rates. All of the best-run states had certain characteristics in common, including well-managed budgets, high education levels and low unemployment. The study also reports that each of the top 10 states has a perfect or near-perfect credit rating.

Across our eastern border, Minnesota is showing some positive results due to strong fiscal management.

Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton released the following statement regarding Minnesota’s December Budget Forecast: “Today’s new budget forecast, projecting an additional surplus of more than a billion dollars during the current biennium, is great news for Minnesota. The principal reason for this dramatic improvement is the stronger-than-expected growth of our state’s economy.

“We have used our strong economic growth to pay back all of the $2.8 billion previously borrowed from our schools. Thanks to the insistence of the DFL majority in the House of Representatives, today’s forecast will trigger the immediate repayment of the final 246 million dollars we owe our schools,” Dalrymple said.

Who will benefit? First and foremost, the school districts across the state, the students and their parents and the programs that will continue. There is little downside in both states showing positive results through sound management practices.