BISMARCK, N.D. – Gov. Doug Burgum and Lt. Gov. Brent Sanford today marked the fifth anniversary of being sworn into office, reflecting on a year filled with historic progress on infrastructure, workforce, economic development and other priorities, as well as major challenges including extreme drought conditions and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
“As always, North Dakotans have responded to this year’s unprecedented challenges with incredible strength and resiliency,” Burgum said. “Our administration continues to draw inspiration from the hardworking citizens of our great state as we strive to empower people, improve lives and inspire success.”
In his January 2021 State of the State Address, Burgum called for bold action to move the state forward. He worked with the state Legislature to deliver a landmark $680 million bonding package to support infrastructure improvements across the state. The package includes flood control, roads, bridges, water projects and an agricultural products development center – all with using Legacy Fund earnings and without raising taxes. The water project funding includes $435.5 million for the Fargo-Moorhead-West Fargo area flood diversion, $74.5 million for Mouse River Flood Control at Minot and a $50 million revolving loan fund for water projects.
As recommended in Burgum’s Accelerate ND proposal, a special session of the Legislature in November also invested hundreds of millions of dollars of federal funding into infrastructure, including a proposed west-to-east natural gas pipeline to support communities and economic growth; workforce development including career centers where high school students can pursue high-demand careers; economic development programs and energy projects; and health care and behavioral health enhancements.
Burgum proposed and signed into law an income tax relief package that will provide an estimated $211 million in relief to approximately half a million North Dakotans in tax years 2021 and 2022. The governor also signed legislation eliminating the state income tax on Social Security income, making North Dakota the 38th state to eliminate the tax. As a result, approximately 20,000 North Dakotans will save an estimated $14.6 million per biennium.
The administration worked closely with stakeholders to usher in several of the largest economic development project announcements in state history, with a focus on diversifying the economy and adding value to the state’s raw commodities. The projects include ADM’s plans to build a $350 million soybean crush and refinery in Spiritwood, N.D.; plans by Bakken Energy LLC and Mitsubishi Power Americas Inc. to establish a world-class clean hydrogen hub; and Cerilon Inc.’s plans to build a $2.8 billion gas-to-liquids complex in Williams County.
Sanford also spearheaded the administration’s efforts on the sale of Coal Creek Station, the state’s largest coal-fired power plant, to Rainbow Energy – avoiding a shutdown of the plant, saving jobs and preserving baseload power generation.
Together, these projects will play a major role in North Dakota’s agriculture, energy and overall economic growth, along with efforts toward the governor’s goal, announced in May, of making North Dakota the first carbon-neutral state by 2030.
Burgum also appointed several members to the governor’s cabinet: Indian Affairs Commission Executive Director Nathan Davis, Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation Director Dave Krabbenhoft, Commerce Commissioner James Leiman, Parks and Recreation Director Cody Schulz, Department of Water Resources Director Andrea Travnicek, State Health Officer Dr. Nizar Wehbi, and Game and Fish Department Director Jeb Williams. Stacey Breuer also joined the cabinet as chief people officer.
- The governor declared a statewide drought disaster in early April, marking the second time in five years that North Dakota farmers and ranchers faced widespread extreme drought conditions that threatened crops, livestock herds and livelihoods.
- At the same time, Burgum, who chairs the State Water Commission, and Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring, also a member, announced the reactivation of the Drought Disaster Livestock Water Supply Project Assistance Program through the newly formed Department of Water Resources. So far, over $5.6 million in cost-share assistance has been approved for over 1,400 projects submitted by more than 1,000 unique applicants, with an average approval time of less than three days from application.
- Burgum also signed an executive order waiving hours of service for haulers of livestock, hay and water to help livestock producers battling extreme drought conditions across the state.
- With its partners at the North Dakota Forest Service and North Dakota National Guard, the Department of Emergency Services (DES) coordinated the response to significant wildland fire events, including an April 1 fire that encroached on Medora and prompted evacuations. Army National Guard Black Hawk helicopters supported local and regional firefighting efforts to save Medora by distributing water via 600-gallon water buckets.
- Local, tribal, state and federal agencies responded to two large wildfires from April 30 to May 2. The Roosevelt Creek Fire in the Little Missouri National Grassland, north of Medora, burned more than 4,600 acres, while another fire on the Fort Berthold Reservation, about six miles south of Mandaree, burned an estimated 9,800 acres.
- Total Army National Guard support, including to Mandaree, involved distributing over 108,000 gallons of water and eight Guard members working with the North Dakota Forest Service on the ground.
- As of Dec. 2, North Dakota had experienced more than 2,400 fires burning over 125,600 acres in 2021.
- As proposed in Accelerate ND, Burgum signed legislation providing funding to convert abandoned oil wells to permanent freshwater supply wells to enhance resiliency against drought conditions in western North Dakota. It’s estimated the $3.2 million appropriation will support the conversion of up to 16 wells.
- While serving and protecting citizens at home, DES also coordinated and resourced firefighting teams to provide aid to another state. A group of 15 firefighters from the Williston, Williston Rural, Bismarck Rural and Dickinson fire departments spent two weeks supporting Hurricane Ida recovery efforts in September along the Gulf Coast. This was after Burgum approved an Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC) request from the state of Louisiana, allowing North Dakota’s firefighters to assist with fire suppression missions there.
COVID-19 pandemic response
- Since January 2021, more than 900,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in North Dakota. The percentage of adults in the state with at least one dose is 60.7%, and more than 83% of those over age 65 have started their vaccine series.
- The North Dakota Department of Health (NDDoH) State Laboratory processed more than 692,497 tests, and its hotline responded to more than 93,000 citizen calls and 4,100 emails. The NDDoH developed the North Dakota COVID-19 Impact Wall to connect North Dakotans impacted by the disease.
- The NDDoH developed and updated communication channels for citizens, including website dashboards for COVID-19 cases and vaccine distribution, so citizens could quickly access data to make informed decisions about their health. The COVID-19 cases dashboard had more than 2 million page views this year, and the COVID-19 vaccine dashboard had more than 400,000 page views in this time frame.
- The pandemic has the North Dakota National Guard serving its longest domestic response in history – 638 days and nearly 128,000 personnel days as of Monday. Guard members have administered testing, facilitated over 103,000 doses of vaccine, conducted traffic control, partnered with local and tribal health organizations, and transported test samples to the state lab, among other duties.
- The DES has coordinated the obligation of more than $126 million through the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Public Assistance Program. The agency assisted eligible local, state, tribal and nonprofit organizations in submitting applications to reimburse costs for medical care, testing and vaccinations, as well as costs required to perform safe opening and operations.
- Job Service North Dakota provided vital economic support to the unemployed by injecting over $1.2 billion into the economy since the start of the pandemic. In a typical year, Job Service will pay between $80 million to $90 million to recipients during times of economic downturns, but payments to unemployed recipients in 2021 alone had already reached $362 million by early December.
- Security and medical team members from the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (DOCR) have cared for more than 950 residents diagnosed with COVID-19 at facilities across the state. Partnering with the NDDoH, DOCR team members offered extensive testing and monoclonal antibody treatments to provide excellent care on-site to prevent serious illness. Very few COVID-positive residents required hospitalization, minimizing the impact on already strained community medical resources.
- The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) helped develop the executive proposal for over $1 billion in federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) investments; managed the distribution of over $25 million in ARPA funding to North Dakota cities; and managed the state’s reporting requirements for $1.25 billion in federal Coronavirus Relief Funds.
- Recognizing how employers play an essential role in healthy, vibrant communities, Job Service worked with policymakers to ensure that the Unemployment Insurance (UI) Trust Fund remained healthy and that employers were held harmless for UI benefit charges to their employees during 2020. As importantly, the steps taken ensured there were no unemployment tax rate increases for employers in 2021. By utilizing federal Cares Act dollars to strengthen the UI Trust Fund, it positioned the UI program to again hold rates flat in the upcoming 2022 calendar year.
In addition to addressing drought and COVID challenges, the administration continued to make progress on the governor’s five strategic initiatives: Main Street Initiative, Behavioral Health and Addiction, Tribal Engagement, Transforming Education and Reinventing Government.
Main Street Initiative
- The Department of Commerce worked to increase infill and reduce property taxes by updating Renaissance Zones and working across state agencies to successfully stack and align state programs for mixed use and infill.
- North Dakota was one of only six states selected for the second phase of the National Governors Association’s Workforce Innovation Network, in which states will deploy cross-agency teams to identify and implement strategies that advance digital skill development and more equitable economic participation.
- Commerce’s Workforce Division is implementing systematic changes with $20 million allocated to improve talent attraction efforts. One strategy launched in 2021 involves a national project with RoleCall to address workforce needs by helping to make North Dakota a national leader in talent attraction innovation and action.
- The Main Street ND Summit, held in West Fargo this year, featured a lineup of renowned speakers and community innovators on the topic of smart, efficient infrastructure. Videos of the keynotes, breakout sessions and Main Street Awards can be viewed here.
- Due to the many workforce challenges facing North Dakota, Job Service took a strategic, targeted approach to a statewide campaign called #JOBUPND. The campaign utilized several online ad platforms generating over 3 million impressions with a 75% view rate.
- Smart, efficient infrastructure is a pillar of the Main Street Initiative, and infrastructure is vital to North Dakota’s economy, commerce, agriculture, tourism and families. In 2021, the state of North Dakota made an unprecedented $2.3 billion dollar investment in infrastructure.
- Recognizing the key role that parks play in creating healthy, vibrant communities, lawmakers approved and Burgum signed legislation during the special session investing $17.9 million in deferred maintenance and capital improvements at state parks, plus $5 million in matching funds to renovate and upgrade existing facilities in local park districts. The Legislature last spring also created a Challenge Grant for the Parks and Recreation Department to drive investment from the private and public sectors for parks.
- Commerce, Job Service and the DOCR worked together on The Last Mile, a collaborative effort to provide instruction on front- and back-end website design to enable DOCR residents to be workforce ready in a highly technical field of coding and website design.
- The Department of Water Resources’ Cost-Share Program continued to advance critical water supply infrastructure in all areas of the state. For municipal water supply projects, $19.7 million was approved to benefit over 15,000 water users in communities of all sizes. Rural water systems received over $8 million for system expansions and improvements that will benefit over 20,000 water users.
- The larger regional water supply systems, including the Western Area Water Supply, Red River Valley Water Supply, Southwest Pipeline Project, and Northwest Area Water Supply were approved for $93.6 million in state funding, and $20.4 million in federal Municipal, Rural and Industrial Water Supply Program funding. Combined, these four regional water supply systems will one day provide water service to 75% of North Dakota’s population.
Behavioral Health and Addiction
- More than 650 in-person attendees and over 3,000 online viewers participated in the fifth Recovery Reinvented, a daylong event in Bismarck focused on reinventing recovery through eliminating the stigma of addiction. The governor and First Lady Kathryn Burgum shared the results of the statewide North Dakota Addressing Addiction survey, which found stigma has been reduced over the last three years.
- The Department of Human Services completed statewide implementation of a behavioral health crisis services response system that includes crisis line, mobile response and walk-in services at its eight human service centers. At the Life Skills and Transition Center in Grafton, the system was expanded with a specialized team who respond to people with developmental and intellectual disabilities in crisis so they can continue to live successfully in their communities. Crisis response services de-escalate situations and prevent law enforcement involvement and unnecessary emergency room visits.
- Building on the success of the Free Through Recovery program, Human Services launched the Community Connect program, which provides community-based behavioral health services designed to assist individuals with care coordination, peer support and recovery services.
- Human Services also implemented a Medicaid 1915(i) state plan amendment, which allows North Dakota Medicaid to pay for additional in-home and community-based services to support individuals with behavioral health conditions. Services include care coordination, benefits planning, nonmedical transportation, respite, supported education, supported employment, housing and peer support.
- The DOCR partnered with Restoring Promise, an initiative of the Vera Institute of Justice, and MILPA, to create a housing unit at the State Penitentiary grounded in dignity for young adults in prison. Restoring Promise helps transform correctional culture through training, presentations, workshops and healing circles – setting a new tone for the entire system. Young adults participate in meaningful daily activities, experience healing, cultivate an ideology of self-determination and restore relationships with family and community. Mentors over the age of 25 support them in their personal growth, and staff undergo intensive training to become agents of change within the system.
- The Highway Patrol created a two-member crash assistance program that will provide enhanced services to victims of crashes, including providing information about understanding grief; reducing stress reactions after trauma; tools to process reactions to crisis and trauma; and information to support children as they process grief and trauma.
- The North Dakota National Guard finished signing memorandums of agreement with all five tribal colleges in North Dakota to make the State Tuition Assistance program available to qualified student service members attending college.
- Burgum signed legislation providing a framework for the state and the Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara (MHA) Nation to share tax revenue from oil wells that straddle the boundary of the Fort Berthold Reservation, settling an unresolved issue from the state’s historic 2019 tax agreement with the MHA Nation.
- The North Dakota Highway Patrol entered an agreement with the MHA Nation to enhance emergency response on the Fort Berthold Reservation. The agreement, signed by Burgum and MHA Chairman Mark Fox, allows the closest available peace officer to respond to an emergency call for service until the agency with primary jurisdiction arrives and assumes the lead. The agreement to allow mutual aid across reservation boundaries was made possible by legislation signed in 2019 and 2021.
- Burgum also signed legislation to allow NDIT to enter into agreements with tribes and other government entities to assist with cybersecurity incident response, and to allow NDDOT to enter into agreements with tribal governments to assist with federally funded safety improvement projects on tribal-owned highways, streets, roads and bridges.
- The Highway Patrol created and implemented a five-member criminal interdiction team that focuses on drug and human trafficking and other criminal activity occurring on roadways in the state. The team is tasked with working closely with tribal law enforcement to intercept illegal substances destined for North Dakota reservations.
- A pilot program that aims to ensure all justice-involved, at-risk tribal and non-tribal youth have access to similar services was extended for two years.
- Burgum signed “pathways to graduation” legislation that capped a four-year collaborative effort to pave the way for authentic learning and flexibility in pathways for North Dakota students to achieve graduation. Creating personalized graduation pathways to complement the traditional credit-hour K-12 education system was the No. 1 recommendation from the Governor’s Innovative Education Task Force created through executive order in 2017.
- Burgum proposed and ultimately signed legislation providing $38 million to Bismarck State College to create the state’s first polytechnic institution. This new approach to higher education will equip students with the skills needed to fill in-demand careers throughout the state.
- The North Dakota Information Technology (NDIT) Cybersecurity Team enhanced IT security services for the K-12 education community as part of the IT Shared Services/Unification initiative. This increased cybersecurity posture for the K-12 community sets the stage for better response planning and defense, and better security around school and student data. NDIT also expanded Extended Detection Response in schools, added protection to 10,000 Chromebooks, and provided Security User Awareness training to over 2,500 users.
- NDIT also enabled a 24-hour service desk supported by live agents for all state agencies and school districts. In the past year, NDIT has processed an average of 12,000 incidents per month. By offering around-the-clock support, NDIT is better equipped to handle support queries more quickly while improving customer service and creating long-lasting relationships.
- The North Dakota Department of Transportation (NDDOT) increased driver’s license and motor vehicle kiosks to 52 locations across North Dakota. Citizens are now able to print their motor vehicle tabs, renew or request a replacement license or ID card, schedule a road test, pay a reinstatement fee, change their address and edit donor registry information without visiting an office. The department also increased online appointments and reduced customer wait times for driver’s license and motor vehicle services from nearly 30 minutes to less than 10 minutes.
- The NDDOT also launched driver’s license online knowledge tests, allowing North Dakotans an easy and convenient way to get their learner’s permit 24/7 from anywhere with internet access.
- The Highway Patrol’s unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) program became fully active in 2021 following several months of planning and officer training. The UAS program will provide enhanced crash reconstruction services and allow officers to assess dangerous incidents from a safe distance, such as fire hot spots, unknown package identification or quickly locating missing or dangerous individuals in rough terrain.
- The DES completed a new streamlined system to provide a one-stop shop for energy industry producers, transporters and developers, as well as the public, to report hazardous material spills and releases instead of reporting spills to multiple state agencies. The reporting system, available at www.spill.nd.gov or by calling 1-833-99SPILL (1-833-997-7455), was supported by the Department of Environmental Quality, Department of Agriculture and the Industrial Commission’s Oil and Gas Division.
- Wildfire response by the DES led to some dramatic improvements leveraging technology. One of those innovations was a GPS-configured wildland fire dashboard that provided leaders, planners and firefighters with better situational awareness. It was the first time data could be compiled through reports from local emergency managers and 9-1-1 calls, as well as historical data from the Integrated Reporting of Wildland-Fire Information (IRWIN) system used by fire departments.
- The DES also initiated a program to augment the state’s firefighting capabilities and resources by creating a wildland task force for the state. The task force concept was adopted to allow local fire departments the ability to respond outside their jurisdictions, if needed. Departments that volunteer will coordinate directly with the Forest Service to preposition personnel and equipment for potential state wildfire suppression missions.
- The North Dakota Game and Fish Department became the first state in the nation to allow electronic posting of private land with the passage of Senate Bill 2144. The bill gives landowners and hunters alike a convenient option for posting private land and checking its status for hunting, while also leaving the traditional physical posting process in place for those who wish to continue using it.
- The Department of Human Services implemented the Safety Framework Practice model, which redesigned in-home child and family support services and foster care services to increase the number of children remaining safely in their homes.
- Human Services also launched statewide centralized intake for child abuse and neglect reporting in January 2021. Overall, the number of children living in foster care has decreased in 2021. Efforts are underway to continue shifting resources to in-home services to support children and their families together.
- The pandemic’s challenges provided an opportunity for Job Service to reinvent how it ensures benefits are getting to those who need it and not to identity thieves and criminal enterprises. By implementing an industry-leading ID proofing/verification service and by expanding utilization of fraud detection data analytics, Job Service prevented over 8,000 fraudulent claims, which could have resulted in over $150 million in fraudulent payments.
- The North Dakota Healthcare Directive Registry development by NDIT was completed and is available at https://apps.nd.gov/itd/hin/hdir/login. This system allows citizens to store, maintain and retrieve important health care documents, such as advance directive documents that are key when determining proper patient care. Users can share documents with providers and family as they choose.
- Workforce Safety & Insurance (WSI) successfully deployed upgrades to its myWSI and CAPS systems, providing better customer experience for internal and external customers through automation of manual tasks and online accessibility.
- The Department of Water Resources expanded the utility and functionality of PRESENS (Pushing REmote SENSors), a real-time water level monitoring program. The program now has a much broader range of data collection opportunities to include soil moisture, soil temperature and precipitation measurements. This real-time data will assist with water management into the future and will be used for modeling efforts and analysis. The department deployed more than 220 PRESENS units at peak operation, and aims to grow that number to around 1,000 units in the coming years.
- The Securities Department completed two significant technology projects designed to improve efficiency and the service experience for constituents. A new case management system facilitates the timely, effective and impactful execution of examinations and investigations to support the department’s mission of protecting investors. And the new ND Securities Filing Portal delivers a fully electronic filing experience for issuers of securities and other filers, while completing the department’s conversion to electronic systems for all securities and investment industry filings, which totaled approximately 148,000 in the last fiscal year.
- Five state agencies – the NDDOT, Department of Water Resources, Department of Environmental Quality, Public Finance Authority and Bank of North Dakota – collaborated to create Funding for Infrastructure in North Dakota (FIND), a central hub for local governments to apply for infrastructure funding. With five different infrastructure funding programs in the state, knowing which fund to apply for and completing multiple applications was a strain for city and county staff, but FIND provides a one-stop shop for applications. The site was gradually rolled out starting in June and has already received 13 applications.
Citizen-focused agencies make progress
In addition, state agencies worked hard to deliver core services and improve outcomes in many areas:
- Human Services launched a new early childhood division to focus resources on school readiness; strong, stable families; and quality early childhood experiences. To date, the division has awarded federal grant dollars to 713 North Dakota child care programs for financial stabilization.
- Human Services worked with housing partners to implement the new, more comprehensive ND Rent Help program to support housing stability and financial stability and promote strong, stable families. In 2021, 3,295 renter households received emergency rent or utility assistance from ND Rent Help, and 1,095 unique housing providers and utility providers received direct payments from the program. Total assistance disbursed through Nov. 30, 2021, was $13,428,408.
- Human Services improved access to in-home and community-based long-term support services so that older adults and adults with physical disabilities who qualify for skilled nursing care can live at home if they choose. North Dakotans can easily apply online or by phone through the Aging and Disability Resource LINK (ADRL) to get connected to in-home services.
- Human Service provided all Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) households with the maximum benefit amount for households their size. During 2021, approximately 17,800 North Dakota households benefited each month during the COVID-19 public health emergency.
- During the 67th Legislative Assembly, Burgum signed a bill to redesign the way nursing homes are paid by North Dakota Medicaid. Under this new payment system, nursing homes will be incentivized to provide cost-effective care and to renovate rather than build facilities. The new payment system will reduce overall expenses in the future, making it advantageous to taxpayers as well.
- In January 2021, Human Services assumed administration and operation of resettlement support services from contracted vendor Lutheran Social Services of North Dakota. Services help individuals adjust to life in North Dakota and become self-sufficient. The goal is to see New Americans accepted, integrated and supported as they add value to North Dakota and enrich the culture of their new communities. In 2021, 35 refugees resettled in North Dakota.
- The statewide cancer registry maintained by the NDDoH was recognized by the CDC as a “Registry of Excellence.” For the period December 2020 through November 2021, Women’s Way screened 284 people for breast and/or cervical cancer. The program provides these important services to more than 70 women per month.
- The Women, Infants & Children (WIC) Program provided healthy food and support to more than 15,000 North Dakotans. The oral health program distributed 47,000 toothbrushes to 188 schools; 14 workplaces were designated as infant friendly, benefiting 3,821 employees; and the child passenger safety program launched new interactive maps and certified 67 technicians.
- The NDDoH distributed 1,560 state-of-the-art automated external defibrillators (AEDs) to law enforcement via a partnership with the Helmsley Charitable Trust. One of these AEDs was successfully deployed in August 2021 in Grand Forks and helped save a life.
- OMB launched Team ND Connect, a statewide intranet available to all state team members, and delivered Leadership Everywhere training to over 1,500 Team ND members. The agency also led a statewide change management initiative, launched a new website on the statewide platform and centralized certain printing and procurement services.
- Parks and Recreation began offering a new option for North Dakota State park annual permit holders. The family permit, authorized by the 67th Legislative Assembly, allows members of the same household to buy two annual permits at a discounted price of $55.
- The NDDOT finalized the long-range transportation plan, “Transportation Connection.” The 25-year plan helps identify future transportation needs in the state.
- The NDDOT and Parks and Recreation partnered to replace and install various signs to promote recreational opportunities across the state. The project is designed to increase visibility of state parks and help guide visitors to parks and recreational areas.
- Parks and Recreation also partnered with the State Historical Society to offer the North Dakota Passport. The goal is to help residents and out-of-state travelers make the most of their visits to recreational and historical sites throughout the state. The passport is an all-in-one guide to adventure as users collect stamps at 37 featured destinations, varying from state parks and recreation areas to state historic sites and museums.
- North Dakota’s regulatory framework for geologic sequestration of carbon dioxide led the nation as the state Industrial Commission in October approved the first Class VI carbon capture and storage project under state primacy in North Dakota and in the United States. North Dakota was the first state to receive primacy of Class VI wells from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in 2018, followed only by Wyoming in 2020.
- An exhibit featuring Dakota, a mummified hadrosaur, opened at the North Dakota Heritage Center with over 600 families and friends of paleontology at the grand opening in October. The new interactive exhibit includes a 3D print of Dakota’s mummified dinosaur skin and a large mural depicting what Dakota looked like when she roamed North Dakota.
- Bank of North Dakota transferred the servicing of most of its residential loan portfolio to the North Dakota Housing Finance Agency, taking advantage of an opportunity to consolidate residential lending, streamline service to consumers and increase efficiency in state government. On April 1, BND discontinued its residential lending program by the end of the year. BND’s residential portfolio was just over $535 million on Dec. 31, 2020, compared to NDHFA’s portfolio of $1.4 billion.
- Game and Fish unveiled the Meadowlark Initiative, a statewide strategy that teams landowners, conservation groups, biologists and others to enhance, restore and sustain native grasslands in North Dakota.
- The Heart River Correctional Center (HRCC) opened its doors to minimum custody women on June 15 in Mandan, the result of a team approach to ensure the facility was prepared for adult women. HRCC focuses on providing person-centered rehabilitative and recovery services in a safe, consistent and structured environment of support where women can develop lifelong skills and experience long-term success.
- Burgum signed bipartisan legislation aimed at increasing access to services and improving outcomes for youth involved in the juvenile justice system. It was the first major overhaul of state law covering juvenile justice issues since 1969.
- The North Dakota Department of Labor and Human Rights entered a space-sharing agreement with the Gaming Division of the Attorney General’s Office to utilize office space and tax dollars effectively while continuing to work on a rotating remote basis and in a completely paperless system.
- In just the past six months, the NDIT Cybersecurity Team has defended against 187 million threats that were prevented or detected; over 72 million vulnerability attacks that were blocked; and more than 7 million spam and phishing messages.
- The Department of Financial Institutions (DFI) spent considerable efforts modernizing outdated laws affecting banks and credit unions and oversaw a 17% increase in financial service providers doing business in North Dakota, now licensing 8,300 entities. Banks and credit unions under DFI’s supervision grew their assets by 18% to a total of $43 billion.
- WSI reported that workplace injury rates have been reduced by 30% over the last decade, with a rate of 4.6 claims filed per 100 covered workers in 2021. The agency issued nearly $26 million in safety premium discounts to employers for successful participation in safety programs in fiscal year 2021.
- North Dakota maintains one of the nation's highest drinking water compliance rates, with 99% of public water systems meeting all health-based standards overseen by the Department of Environmental Quality. The state also ranked No. 3 in cleanest air and water in US News and World Report’s Best States for Air and Water Quality.
- The Happy Hooligans of the North Dakota Air National Guard’s 119th Wing accepted the Air Force Outstanding Unit Award (AFOUA) for the 22nd time on March 6 and is among the most decorated Air National Guard wings in the nation.
Burgum will deliver his 2022 State of the State Address at 10 a.m. Jan. 19 in Festival Concert Hall at the Reineke Fine Arts Center at North Dakota State University in Fargo. The address will be livestreamed from the Governor’s Office website at www.governor.nd.gov.
Census 2020 results released in April showed North Dakota’s population at a record high of 779,094, with a 15.8% growth rate that was the fourth-highest among states from 2010 to 2020.
“Working together, we are overcoming the challenges facing our state and emerging stronger than ever before,” Burgum said.