ND House Republican Likes Discretionary Funds Until He Doesn’t

Representative Roscoe Streyle (R – Minot) is mad! How mad? As mad as Roscoe P. Coltrane when those darn Duke boys pulled another fast one over on him, that’s how mad.

Streyle appeared on “The Rob (re)Port” today on 970 WDAY to discuss Governor Burgum using his veto powers for parts of, and a few entire, North Dakota bills. One of the veto’s discussed involves the North Dakota Water Commission budget. This did not sit well at all with Representative Streyle. You can hear the entire interview here. The water commission stuff is from around the 2 minute mark to about the 5 minute mark.

Streyle is VERY concerned about money being put into discretionary pools instead of line items. When it comes to budget line items, Streyle says “he (Burgum) doesn’t believe that’s important which I find shocking frankly when every other agency does that.” He also says “If he’s (Burgum) able to move money around without any input just freely I think it creates a lot of uncertainty and I think that’s a terrible veto that he did there and I hope we would come back and override that section for sure.”

Strange because earlier in the session the North Dakota House passed a budget bill for the Department of Commerce. Part of that bill would have given line item funding to homeless shelters in North Dakota. The Senate’s version of the bill included a line item for this spending. The House version did not, and set no specific money aside for the shelters. Instead, money for homeless matters would come from a pool of discretionary funds.

Streyle’s response?

“What we did is provide more flexibility to the new commissioner,” Streyle said, noting that Gov. Doug Burgum’s proposed budget didn’t include the grants. “If they want to do it at $300,000 or $500,000, they have absolute discretion.”

Representative Streyle has made himself crystal clear: He likes this kind of budgeting…..until he does not like this kind of budgeting.