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Election measures

By Staff | Oct 28, 2010

Two statewide measures are part of the 2010 election ballot. The first one is a constitutional measure and the second a statutory measure.

Measure #1 involves putting 30% of the revenues from taxes on oil and gas production or extraction into a special fund in the state treasury which would be known as the legacy fund.

The oil and gas tax revenues have been used for property tax relief to schools and local infrastructure as well as other uses. If this measure would pass the remaining funds would still be used for these types of expenditures. Tax collections from oil and gas were close to $583 million in 2010. The collections are projected to be between $1 billion and $2 billion in the next couple of bienniums. The legacy fund would have 30% of that if the voters say so.

The principal and earnings of the legacy fund cannot be spent until after June 30, 2011. An expenditure of principal after that date must have a vote of at least two-thirds of the members elected to each house of the legislative assembly. No more than 15% of the principal in the legacy fund may be spent during a biennium.

Any programs related to statutes which are a result of legislation enacted before 2009 such as: providing for impact grants, direct revenue allocations to political subdivisions, and deposits in the oil and gas research fund must remain in effect, however the legislative assembly is allowed to adjust those allocations for those purposes.

Furthermore, the measure states that the state investment board shall invest the principal of the North Dakota legacy fund. The state treasurer shall transfer earnings of the North Dakota legacy fund accruing after June 30, 2017 to the state general fund at the end of each biennium.

If approved by the voters, this measure becomes effective for oil and gas produced after June 30, 2011.

A “yes” vote means the voter approves the measure. A “no” vote means the voter rejects the measure.

Proponents liken it to a rainy day fund to use if or when the oil boom goes bust again as it has in the past.

More information can be found on the effects of measure #1 at www.nd.gov/sos

Measure #2 was drafted by a sponsoring committee to add a new section to the Century Code. This one concerns hunting practices.

It reads as follows: Fee killing of certain captive game animals prohibited – Penalty- Exception. A person is guilty of a class A misdemeanor if the person obtains fees or other reuneration from another person for the killing or attempted killing of privately-owned big game species or exotic mammals confined in or released from any man-made enclosure designed to prevent escape.

This section does not apply to the actions of a government employee or agent to control an animal population, to prevent or control diseases, or when government action is otherwise required or authorized by law.

This measure essentially proposes banning big game farm operators from making money from allowing hunters to shoot game within a fenced area on their property.

This act would become effective on November 1, 2012 if voters approve it.

A “yes” vote means the voter approves the measure as stated above.

A “no” vote means the voter rejects the measure as stated above.

Proponents want to protect the animals that have no recourse for escape. Opponents say they want the right to do whatever they choose with their animals to make income on their own property.

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