After denying basic protections to LGBT and expanding gun rights, you’d think North Dakota legislature couldn’t possibly get any worse, right? Or maybe you know all about how screwy North Dakota lawmakers are and know we haven’t even scratched the surface. Well, hold on to your bloomers, folks because it just got worse.
First, a little context for those of you who are not from North Dakota. Thanks to oil, North Dakota has amassed a sizable surplus over the years. Even after oil prices have dropped, the money is still there and there’s a projected 4 billion in oil revenue expected over the next two years. But wait! Only 5% of the state’s general budget comes from oil revenues. The rest comes from the humble, hard-working taxpayers like myself and the other working stiffs here.
So, what am I getting at? It would seem that with all this money and the surplus and the taxes we’ve paid, getting a half million in funding to help rape victims would be a no-brainer, right?
Unfortunately, you’d be wrong.
The Bipartisan Senate Bill 2284 was introduced to provide $500,000.00 in funding to train more sexual assault nurse examiners so hospitals that don’t currently have one could get one on staff so rape victims wouldn’t need to wait a ridiculous amount of time waiting to get a sexual assault exam or treatment.
Now, remember with all that oil, the population has boomed in Western North Dakota and with it, the incidents of rape. Turns out there’s a pretty significant down side to all that oil money and it’s embarrassing that North Dakota seems to want the money but not do anything about the huge problems. You’d think maybe, just maybe, the North Dakota House would think a lousy half mill would be a reasonable sum to assist with the growing number of sexual assault victims due to that fantabulous oil. But nope. The senate cut the appropriation from $500,000 to $200,000 and before the house would pass it, they stripped the funding altogether. So, I’m not sure what the point of passing it was with no funding….maybe to give the illusion that they gave a damn about rape victims?
There are currently 55-60 sexual assault nurses in North Dakota and another 40-50 are needed to meet the demand. So, this was a big SCREW YOU to rape victims that have the tremendous misfortune of being assaulted in North Dakota and a big SCREW YOU from the North Dakota House to everyone that’s a survivor of sexual assault (including yours truly). And once again, the only thing I can say is seriously, North Dakota?