BISMARCK, ND (AP) — A major spending initiative targeting infrastructure projects outside North Dakota’s oil patch is on track to be fully funded for the first time since the legislature approved it il three years ago, due to high oil prices and stable production.
“Operation Prairie Dog” is supposed to provide $250 million every two-year budget cycle for infrastructure spending in non-oil producing areas.
The Legislature assumed oil production and prices would hold up after the bill passed, but they fell due to the pandemic and only about $30 million was doled out in the last budget cycle.
Oil revenues in the budget cycle ending next year are already over $730 million higher than expected due to higher-than-expected oil prices and stable production, state budget data shows. .
Joe Morrissette, the state budget editor, said if oil revenues continue at the current rate, Prairie Dog will be fully funded in this current budget cycle.
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