Senate GOP rejects funding for western North Dakota hospitals, human service needs

(BISMARCK, N.D.) – During Senate floor debate today on HB 1012, the Department of Human Services budget, the North Dakota Senate’s GOP majority rejected a floor amendment that would have provided $16 million in funding to address health care and human service needs in oil-impacted communities. The amendment, rejected by a vote of 26 to 20, was offered by Senator John Warner, D-Ryder, and sought to restore $10 million for critical access hospitals and $6 million for grants to nursing homes, basic care facilities, and developmental disability providers in western North Dakota.

“The human needs that have arisen as a result of the oil boom are significant,” Warner said. “It is time to take care of those out West. They are the one who are paying the price, literally, for our prosperity.”

Warner’s amendment is part of a three pronged plan advanced by Dem-NPL legislators to fully restore the $146 million for western North Dakota communities that was stripped from HB 1358 by the Senate majority earlier this month.

Despite the defeat of Senator Warner’s amendments today, the Dem-NPL legislators will continue their efforts to restore oil impact funding as contained in HB 1358. Senator Connie Triplett, D-Grand Forks, will offer a broad floor amendment to restore the entirety of the cuts made to HB 1358 by the GOP majority in the Senate on April 5. If that amendment fails, Senator Jim Dotzenrod, D-Wyndmere, will move to amend HB 1358 on the floor to restore the $130 million in reductions to road funding for oil-impacted counties.

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