Gov. Doug Burgum today presented his strategic budget guidelines for the 2023-2025 biennium, highlighting the need for continued innovation, cost containment and efficiencies in state government as well as additional investment in employee compensation to address a highly competitive workforce environment and the highest inflation in more than 40 years.
While state general fund revenues for the current biennium are running 13.1%, or over $200 million, ahead of forecast, Burgum emphasized that the state will continue to take a conservative approach to budgeting.
“While we have made great strides in enhancing services for North Dakota citizens, our recently completed strategy reviews identified additional opportunities to make government more efficient and effective by embracing technology and automation, improving processes and cutting red tape,” Burgum said. “Through this budgeting process, we will continue to focus on reinvention and reallocating resources to high-performing, high return-on-investment programs while building a budget that focuses on outcomes and strategy-based initiatives.”
The Governor’s Office and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) began the strategy review process with state agencies in January. Agencies were asked to focus on outcomes and opportunities for collaboration across multiple agencies to create more value for citizens.
The budget guidelines released today call for agencies to calculate their base budget requests on their current 2021-23 appropriation, while subtracting one-time appropriations and adding the costs to continue legislatively authorized salary increases and new programs phased in during the current biennium.
“Agencies will have the opportunity to submit optional packages that provide building blocks for comprehensive executive budget proposals that will cut across multiple agencies and address broad priorities such as workforce, automation and infrastructure," OMB Director Joe Morrissette said. ”This will allow us to bring the proposals together and focus on outcomes across state government.”
Burgum noted that Job Service North Dakota reported 19,574 online job listings in April, an increase of almost 10% over March and up 19.4% – nearly 3,200 jobs – from the same month one year ago. Like the private sector, state government faces challenges in recruiting and retaining employees and filling open positions in the highly competitive labor market, he said.
“To continue to deliver outstanding service to North Dakota citizens, we must continue to attract and retain high-performing team members. State government must be competitive. We must be an employer of choice,” Burgum said. “Our executive budget proposal will include a comprehensive, competitive rewards and compensation package, as Team ND members continue to be our most valuable resource.”