Jack Dura / Bismarck Tribune
BISMARCK -- Gov. Doug Burgum has signed off on "Operation Prairie Dog." House Bill 1066, now made law, adds new "buckets" to the state funds filled from oil tax revenue, to be distributed throughout North Dakota for city, county, township and airport infrastructure projects. Money would first be available for projects in the summer of 2021, according to Senate Majority Leader Rich Wardner, R-Dickinson, who helped develop the bill.
BISMARCK — Sen. Dave Oehlke, R-Devils Lake, and his son, Jeb, couldn't be in Bismarck without their dogs. Or, maybe their dogs couldn't be without each other. "Mostly, I didn't want to be without my dog, and she didn't want to be without my dog, either," said Jeb Oehlke, gesturing to his father's 10-year-old Newfoundland, Kenzie, lying on the floor of the North Dakota Senate chamber, as his 7-year-old Newfoundland, Riggley, stood nearby.
BISMARCK - North Dakota House members were reprimanded in a memo on Monday over conduct during floor sessions. House Speaker Lawrence Klemin, R-Bismarck, issued the memo with rules of decorum, citing comments and complaints from the public, visitors and House members. "I have received comments that other members are talking, laughing, pointing or on the telephone when a member near them is speaking to the House," Klemin said in the memo. "Please be quiet and attentive. Pranks are extremely disrespectful.
BISMARCK — Two revenue forecasts due next week will give North Dakota lawmakers a brighter path for budgeting in the session's second half. Joint meetings of the House and Senate appropriations committees will hear the Moody's Analytics forecast on Monday, March 11, then the IHS Markit forecast on Tuesday. Moody's has long provided forecasts for the state Office of Management and Budget, while lawmakers sought IHS Markit for a second opinion.
Before he walked into a thrift store in Tarrytown, N.Y., Jared Beasley had little interest in art. The nonfiction writer had never written about nor bought any artwork when he noticed a painting that moved him that day. What happened next set off a quest to find and learn more about the artist — an obscure, expressionistic landscape painter native to Hebron, named Theodore Conrath. Through his research, Beasley found a 1949 poetry book in the Metropolitan Museum of Art that contains etchings by Conrath.
BISMARCK — Most North Dakota residents support a Theodore Roosevelt Presidential Library in the state, according to a recent poll. The Theodore Roosevelt Presidential Library Foundation released poll results this week showing 64 percent of respondents in North Dakota support establishing the library in the state. About 70 percent strongly or somewhat agree the library would positively impact the state's national reputation, while about the same percentage expressed belief that "there is no better place to build the library than North Dakota."
BISMARCK - North Dakota House members approved the so-called "Operation Prairie Dog" on Wednesday, sending the popular proposal to the Senate. House Bill 1066 passed in an 80-12 vote after nearly an hour of floor debate among 15 lawmakers voicing support and opposition, with some fierce comments over the intent of the bill. The bill reached the floor after amendments and work from two House committees.
BISMARCK — North Dakota lawmakers have yet to act on Gov. Doug Burgum's proposal for a Theodore Roosevelt Presidential Library at Medora, seeing a coming revenue forecast as key for the session's second half. Burgum has proposed using $50 million in Legacy Fund earnings with $100 million in private donations to build the facility at the entrance to Theodore Roosevelt National Park's South Unit. In January, he gave testimony to the Education and Environment Division of the House Appropriations Committee, urging support for his proposal.
BISMARCK — The North Dakota House unanimously approved a bill on Wednesday, Feb. 13, aimed at improving victim and treatment services related to juvenile sexual assault. The House approved House Bill 1520, introduced by Rep. Ben Koppelman, R-West Fargo, in a 92-0 vote. The legislation is dubbed "Natalee's Bill" for a 4-year-old girl whose parents sought reform after their experience in the juvenile justice system following her sexual assault.
BISMARCK -- Steve Bakken, Bismarck's mayor, takes it as a compliment that a North Dakota legislator praised him as "sort of a redneck" during a House floor session last week. "I wear it as a badge of honor," Bakken said. During floor debate Friday, Feb. 8, on House Bill 1463, which would allow collective bargaining for police and professional firefighters, Rep. Jim Kasper, R-Fargo, outlined his talks with Fargo and Bismarck firefighters, who he said differed in their abilities to speak with upper management.