This week’s orders from Gov. Jack Dalrymple to cut state agency budgets by more than 4 percent and drain most of a reserve fund to cover a $1 billion revenue shortfall aren’t slowing down a $5 million project to replace the official governor’s residence.
The building project approved by the Legislature last spring is immune from the $245 million in general fund budget cuts announced by Dalrymple on Monday because the money for the residence is coming from the Capitol Building Trust Fund. The state constitution reserves the trust fund for construction and maintenance of public buildings on the Capitol grounds.
“It’s the only thing it can be used for,” said Jeff Engelson, investments director at the state Department of Trust Lands.
Lawmakers voted to spend $4 million from the trust fund if $1 million in private donations could be raised for the project.