That's the prediction for how North Dakota could be affected by the automatic federal spending cuts scheduled to kick in after members of Congress couldn't reach a deal this week in?Washington.
Pam Sharp, state budget director, said North Dakota could lose roughly $20 million in federal funding in fiscal 2013. Considering the state currently has about $1.6 billion in budget reserves and collects roughly $200 million a month in gross oil revenue, the potential loss of $20 million doesn't rise to the level of a fiscal crisis. Given that the Legislature just hit the halfway mark of the 2013 session, the potential federal funding loss could easily be dealt with by state lawmakers if necessary.
Certainly North Dakota's situation is unique in the nation, with a booming oil industry and an influx of new residents boosting the state's economy. North Dakota is the No. 2 oil producing state in the nation and has the country's lowest unemployment rate. In other words, the state well-situated to deal with the current mess created in Washington.
Gov. Jack Dalrymple said the state is committed to continuing its plan for conservative budget management. That sounds like a good plan to us.