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Chamber Opposes Measure 5

The Fargo Moorhead West Fargo Chamber and several other opponents to Measure 5 today voiced their concerns about the legislation’s potential ramifications if passed in November. The Clean Water, Wildlife and Parks Amendment would redirect 5 percent of the state’s oil extraction tax revenue to a Clean Water, Wildlife, and Parks Trust and Fund.

“We are committed to doing our best for our members and representing their interests and I can tell you without a doubt, an overwhelming number of our 2100 plus members are opposed to measure 5,” said President and CEO Craig Whitney at the press conference. “Across North Dakota, we are faced with significant issues on a variety of fronts. From infrastructure to workforce development to education -- not to mention our need for permanent flood protection and ensuring an adequate water supply is available now and into the future.”

The constitutional measure would commit an estimated $300-$400 million per biennium into a new fund and mandates 75 percent of the funds to be spent at the end of the biennium, regardless of whether projects are warranted.

“Measure 5 doesn’t help businesses; it threatens the economic stability of our future by diverting funding that would otherwise be used to facilitate growth,” Whitney asserted. “Our state’s economic climate creates excellent opportunities for business owners in North Dakota and is attracting more visitors and new residents to communities across the state. But what happens if the funding isn’t there to provide the infrastructure to sustain and grow communities?”

Whitney was joined at the press conference by Dan Wogsland, executive director of North Dakota Grain Growers; Rep. Al Carlson, City of Jamestown Mayor Katie Anderson and Perry Miller, Richland county commissioner.

The Chamber’s Board of Directors voted unanimously in April to oppose the petition that initiated the ballot measure. During the 2013 legislative session, The Chamber supported the creation of the Outdoor Heritage Fund.

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