BISMARCK — North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum signed a bill Monday, April 8, exempting military retirement benefits from state income tax, his office said.

Burgum's office said the proposal was included in the Republican governor's budget recommendations, pitching it as a way to address workforce shortages. The bill exempts military retirement benefits from state income tax for retired personnel of the U.S. Armed Forces, National Guard and Reserve, as well as their spouses.

The bill becomes effective with the 2019 tax year. It was introduced by a bipartisan group of lawmakers led by Grand Forks Republican Rep. Steve Vetter.

The bill is expected to cost the state $3 million in general fund revenues in the 2019-21 budget cycle.

“This legislation promotes workforce participation by military personnel in North Dakota after retirement, improves our state’s competitiveness for federal military investments and, most importantly, honors the courageous service of our military servicemen and women,” Burgum said in a statement.