BISMARCK, N.D. — State agencies are bracing for a return to pre-boom funding levels following two rounds of budget cuts and reductions required for the upcoming biennium.

The state experienced years of records revenues before experiencing a $1.074 billion shortfall in February that was plugged with rainy day funds and budget cuts.

“Nothing was normal during those (previous) two bienniums,” Office of Management and Budget Director Pam Sharp said.

The Bismarck Tribune (http://bit.ly/2c852bS ) reports that generally funded agencies were required to cut 2.5 percent from budgets following a projected $310 million revenue shortfall unveiled last month.

Gov. Jack Dalrymple in May ordered agencies to deliver budget proposals at 90 percent levels of ongoing spending from the current biennium.

“They’re going to need to cut deeper than this and they’re going to have to assume that one-time expenses aren’t going to happen unless they’re absolutely critical,” Sharp said.

North Dakota Tax Commissioner Ryan Rauschenberger said July revenue collections, the first reported since the new forecast, show general fund collections were nearly $1.7 million ahead of forecast.

The next revenue forecast in November will provide a clearer revenue picture for 2017-19 and will be what the governor’s executive budget proposal is based off of.

State auditor Robert Peterson said tight budgets are nothing new to him.

“I remember coming in and having 97 percent budgets under Gov. Schafer,” Peterson said. “I think we’ll be OK.”


Information from: Bismarck Tribune, http://www.bismarcktribune.com