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Sen. Kelly Armstrong, Published June 01 2013

Letter: Democrats’ nit-picking ignores accomplishments of Legislature

Recent letters to the editor from Democratic legislators deserve a response. Their letters are full of colorful adjectives denouncing Republican leadership and extolling the virtues of the Democrats and are frankly devoid of any substance or original ideas. It seems that my freshmen Democrat colleagues think that government didn’t do enough for our state during the 63rd legislative session, but the facts tell a different story.

Here are just some of the highlights enacted by Republicans during this session:

E Passed $866 million in property tax relief for our residents;

E Provided $250 million in personal and income tax relief;

• Appropriated $2.5 billion to oil impact counties to provide for infrastructure, law enforcement and human service needs;

• Dramatically increased funding for primary and secondary education and reformed the funding formula;

• Increased the seniors and disabled veterans homestead tax credit program by 83 percent;

• Passed responsible legislation to reduce flaring from oil wells;

• Funded $542 million for flood protection throughout the state;

• Significantly increased the penalties for DUI convictions;

• Despite the Democrats’ efforts to convince voters otherwise, Republicans increased oil industry taxes by closing the “stripper well” exemption and implementing a new tribal agreement relating to oil and gas development.

The needs of North Dakota continue to be great, but our communities are strong. Our people are strong. The funding appropriated and policy set this legislative session was unprecedented, if not historic.

The continued economic growth of North Dakota will bring new prosperity and new challenges. Republicans have and will continue to meet those challenges with responsible and intelligent decisions. No political pandering or nitpicking by Democratic legislators will change that.

Armstrong, R-Dickinson, represents District 36 in the North Dakota Senate.