Will North Dakotans Get Paid?

In 1976, via a constitutional amendment, a fund filled with oil revenues.  Four years later in 1980, Alaska created the Permanent Fund Dividend Division, a state agency tasked with paying out dividends to qualifying Alaska residents each year.  On average, qualifying residents get checks between a thousand and two thousand dollars every year.

Now we’re seeing it all play out in North Dakota, with one notable absence.  In 2010, voters approved the Legacy fund in North Dakota.    By this time next year, .  Lawmakers are forbidden from touching the money until 2017.  And there are restrictions on how much of it can be spent.  But so far, nobody has talked about paying dividends to North Dakotans, which I find alarming.

What do our politicians think that money is going to be used for?  What designs do they have for it?  School funding and road maintenance are two areas where the funds are drastically needed.  Increased funding for law enforcement in the oil patch too.  But all of those options share one common weakness — they’re subject to the whims of our politicians.  The attempt to abolish property taxes in North Dakota does the same thing with our resources.  It puts them in the hands of Bismarck politicians, and leaves us vulnerable to their ideology.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t trust many politicians, regardless of party.

It’s time to establish a Legacy Fund Dividend Division and make sure North Dakotans get paid.  North Dakota has surpassed half a dozen states to become number two in the nation in oil production, behind only Texas.  A select few property owners have become millionaires.  Oil executives have enjoyed fxcm incredible wealth, and the corporations they head have made out amazingly.  We’ve endured terrible wear and tear on our roads, incredible cost of living increases,  price gouging, and dramatic upswings in the crime rate.  Wanna stimulate our economy?  Put some money in North Dakotan’s pockets.

North Dakotans deserve to get paid.  Don’t let our lawmakers leave you out.