Jack Dura / Bismarck Tribune
BISMARCK -- Days after passing the North Dakota Senate, the bill for a Theodore Roosevelt presidential library has hit a snag over constitutionality. House Speaker Lawrence Klemin, R-Bismarck, expressed concerns over the bill — built from amendments that replaced a water project bill — from a provision of the state Constitution that says: "No bill may be amended on its passage through either house in a manner which changes its general subject matter."
BISMARCK — North Dakota's Senate has approved a Theodore Roosevelt presidential library at Medora, thus clearing a hurdle for Gov. Doug Burgum's biggest push this legislative session. Senators on Wednesday, April 17, voted 34-13 on the bill built from amendments brought by Senate Majority Leader Rich Wardner, R-Dickinson. The governor had proposed using $50 million in Legacy Fund earnings to fund an endowment for the library to be built from $100 million in donations.
BISMARCK — North Dakota's Senate may vote Wednesday, April 17, on a proposal for Gov. Doug Burgum's vision of a Theodore Roosevelt Presidential Library — but after some considerations. The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee on Tuesday, April 16, gave the library proposal a 4-2 "do-pass" recommendation after shuffling unrelated legislation between two bills, essentially housing the library in one bill with its previous legislation moved to another. Sen. Jessica Unruh, R-Beulah, who chairs the committee, said the bill may reach the Senate floor on Wednesday.
BISMARCK — North Dakota House members on Friday, April 5, passed the bill for the governor's office 2019-21 budget, which includes a salary for Gov. Doug Burgum he has preferred be eliminated. The House passed the budget bill on a 78-6 vote. The House Appropriations Committee struck out a Senate provision of the bill that allows Burgum to not accept a salary. House budget writers allocated $274,112 for Burgum's next two-year salary. The budget bill now goes back to the Senate for concurrence on amendments.
BISMARCK — North Dakota's new state logo is here to stay. The state Senate on Wednesday, March 27, voted 7-40 on a bill to replace the new logo by way of a contest with a $9,500 prize. Sen. Kristin Roers, R-Fargo, said the Senate Government and Veterans Affairs Committee felt timing was premature to redesign the logo unveiled in October 2018. Roers also said the bill's fiscal note didn't consider the work needed to revamp state agencies' business materials that use the logo.
Reform of civil asset forfeiture in North Dakota has found some common ground on its Senate path. After a nearly two-hour hearing on Tuesday, March 26, Sen. Diane Larson, R-Bismarck, who chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee, said the committee may look at amendments to House Bill 1286 in committee work on Wednesday. Rep. Rick Becker, R-Bismarck, brought the bill, citing a "perverse incentive" of "policing for profit."
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.