News and Updates

Legislative Report – July 2020

Legislative Report – Senator Larry Robinson

Water, Water, and More Water-

Weather wise, we have been in an interesting pattern for the past few years. Either we have too much or too little water. Our area has been inundated with water this year. Water issues have plagued Barnes County and many areas in eastern North Dakota. This comes at a time when western North Dakota has been dry. The recent rains in the west in many cases have been too little and too late to save the crops in that region. Our county Commissioners and Water Resource District personnel have had their hands full dealing with water issues. The past few years there have seen challenges with Hobart Lake, Sanborn Lake, Meadow Lake and Ten Mile Lake among others. The challenges are real and they are causing serious issues for our farmers and small towns. In many cases, farmers have only been able to plant a small portion of their cropland due to high water and roads that are not passable. There are a number of instances where it was impossible to get the 2019 crop off so the 2020 crop could be planted. We have situations in the county where folks have to drive through roads covered with water to get to their farmsteads. Farmers have also  invested significant dollars in drainage ditches and other efforts to move the water off their cropland and roadways. Needless to say, the situation is dire. These roads are often the lifeline for EMT vehicles in the time of an emergency. Farmers need these roads to move their commodities. And yes, these roads are used for our school buses as well.

During the 2019 session the legislature passed the Prairie Dog bill in an effort to direct funds toward our roads and bridges throughout the state. The dollars in the Prairie Dog bill (in excess of $220,000,000) would come from taxes on oil production in western North Dakota. I was a co sponsor on the bill. Unfortunately, with the collapse of oil prices, those dollars are certainly in question. According to a study by the Upper Great Plains Transportation Institute in Fargo, there is a need totaling $1 billion dollars statewide to address county and township roads and bridges. The cost is only increasing each and every year.

The challenge to maintain our roads and bridges will not go away. It will clearly have to be a very high priority as we approach the 2021 legislative session. Yes, the cost to maintain the system of roads and bridges statewide is  high. I suggest that the greater cost is not making that investment. When we do to not invest  the necessary dollars in maintaining our roads, we often find that we end up with a much higher cost in the replacement of those roads. Our farmers and ranchers are dependent on these roads. The safety of our folks living in rural North Dakota is at stake. Our children ride in school buses that use these roadways. This is an investment that we must make.

I can assure you that serious discussions are underway in how we respond to this crisis. I will attempt to keep you informed on those discussions as we move toward the Fall and the next legislative session scheduled to commence in January 2021.

In the meantime, I can be reached at Stay safe and stay healthy!

What’s up next with D24 Dem-NPL?

After a great night at the Riverbend Revue, we have more great and safe events coming up this month and next for ways to learn more and to support your local D24 Dem-NPL!

In the Wimbledon/Dazey area? Your D24 Dem-NPL Candidates will be at Wimbledon’s Steak night on Thursday, July 16 at 6pm! Say “Hi” and get to know your candidates!

Sunday, July 19 at 3:30pm at Little Yellowstone Park on Highway 46, join us for Sweets, Treats, and a Meet & Greet! Enjoy some bars and snacks and get to know your District 24 Dem-NPL candidates!

Check out our virtual D24 Dem-NPL Summer Auction from July 27 to July 31. Find the items and bid at D24 Dem-NPL Summer Auction. Items can be picked up at D24 Dem-NPL District Office on August 3 and August 4 between 4:00pm-7:00pm , on August 7 between 1:30pm-3:30pm, or by appointment. Check, cash, or online payment at ActBlue will be accepted at time of pick-up.

Wednesday, August 5 from 5:00-7:00pm, stop by Chautauqua Park in Valley City for Dash & Dine Meals To Go.

Stop by for our Summer Picnic on Sunday, August 23 at 4:00pm, Dakotah Pavillian at Chautauqua Park. See the candidates, hear from some speakers, support the Great Plains Food Bank, and enjoy a burger!

More events are in the works so stay tuned! We look forward to seeing you all throughout the district!

Riverbend Revue Fundraiser – 7pm – July 13 at Riverbend Farms!

Riverbend Revue – a night of music and comedy at Riverbend Farm at 7 pm, plus rootbeer or pop floats and a special gift of samples from a local brewery.

The District 24 Democratic-NPL is hosting a fundraiser for our local candidates:  Larry Robinson running for State Senate, Naomi Muscha and Bradley Edin running for the two State House seats.

Performers will be Joe DeMasi, folk musician, Jenni Lou Russi, comedian and Spencer Dobson, comedian.

Jenni Lou Russi  is a professional stand-up comedian who is chair of the Department of Communication Arts at VCSU.  She appeals to a wide audience and her comedy credits include working as house emcee at comedy clubs, tours throughout the Lower 48 and corporate engagements. 

Spencer Dobson has performed in clubs, at comedy festivals, private functions and prisons all over the US and Canada. Comedy has taken Spencer from one corner of the continent to the other, cutting his comedy teeth in Minneapolis and then moving to Los Angeles to follow his dreams.  He’s now taken up residence in Valley City.

Joe DeMasi performs solo and also with his twin brother John (when COVID is not happening). He hails from New York City where he began his career playing guitar and singing in folk clubs and coffeehouses.  He and his brother have played at Greenwich Village famed music clubs.  He moved to Valley City a number of years ago, and continues to do folk music tours around the USA. 

To be safe in this time of COVID-19 people are invited to watch the performers from their car or bring a lawn chair to sit on the grass, remembering social distancing of six feet.  Masks are recommended if you choose to go outside your car. Free will donations benefit District 24 Democratic-NPL’s 2020 Campaign efforts.  In case of inclement weather the event will be rescheduled.  For more information contact Sharon Buhr at 845-5197.