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The North Dakota Capitol in Bismarck. Photo illustration by Troy Becker

North Dakota House passes budget bill requiring salary for Burgum

BISMARCK — North Dakota House members on Friday, April 5, passed the bill for the governor's office 2019-21 budget, which includes a salary for Gov. Doug Burgum he has preferred be eliminated.

The House passed the budget bill on a 78-6 vote. The House Appropriations Committee struck out a Senate provision of the bill that allows Burgum to not accept a salary. House budget writers allocated $274,112 for Burgum's next two-year salary.

The budget bill now goes back to the Senate for concurrence on amendments.

The first-term Republican governor donated the salary from his first six months in office to the newly created Office of Recovery Reinvented, while his salary for the current two-year budget cycle will go into the state's general fund on July 1.

Committee members have said a governor not accepting a salary would set a precedent for future candidates, while leaving a potentially bad situation should Burgum resign or die and Lt. Gov. Brent Sanford ascend to the seat without pay. Governor's spokesman Mike Nowatzki has said Sanford is accepting his salary of $103,221.