N.D. governor has surplus to work with

North Dakota's new governor is calling for tax relief and more spending, and plans to end the next two-year budget cycle with a $1 billion budget surplus.

Gov. Jack Dalrymple said Tuesday during his state of the state address that North Dakota's economy is strong, and poised to grow even stronger.

Dalrymple called on legislators to build on the state's economic success.

"While other states remain firmly in the grip of the nation's weakened economy, we in North Dakota are in a position of strength and can use our surplus funds to meet the needs of our state," he said.

Dalrymple wants about $900 million in tax relief. He's also asking for more spending on education and research.

Much of the state's economic success is the result of an oil boom, and the governor wants to spend millions building better roads in 17 oil-producing counties. He also proposes using some of the state's surplus to pay for flood control in the Red River Valley.

His budget plan would end the bienium with a $1.2 billion surplus.

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