ND Legislature starts: Let the budget wars begin

Associated Press

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — The North Dakota Senate's Republican leader says it's easy to describe what the 2011 Legislature will be about: "Money, money and money."

Bismarck Sen. Bob Stenehjem says talk about the state's $1 billion budget surplus has raised expectations among interest groups. He says it won't be possible to meet everyone's demands for spending and tax cuts.

New Rockford Sen. Joan Heckaman says some lawmakers want to "take apart" Dalrymple's budget recommendations.

Heckaman is expecting debates about road repairs and flood control, and she says both eastern and western North Dakota have good arguments for state support.

The 2011 Legislature starts at noon Tuesday. Gov. Jack Dalrymple is giving his State of the State address Tuesday afternoon.