John Hageman covers North Dakota politics from the Forum News Service bureau in Bismarck. He attended the University of Minnesota in the Twin Cities, where he studied journalism and political science, and he previously worked at the Grand Forks Herald and Bemidji Pioneer.
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BISMARCK — North Dakota state transportation officials kicked off a $370 million highway construction season Wednesday, May 22, months after lawmakers rejected a gas tax increase to boost road funding.
BISMARCK — A North Dakota judge has agreed with state utility regulators who said they lacked siting authority over an oil refinery planned near Theodore Roosevelt National Park, dealing a blow to environmental groups fighting the project.
BISMARCK — While Democratic members of Minnesota's congressional delegation expressed alarm over the potential for the U.S. slipping into war with Iran this week, Republicans in the Dakotas touted the Trump administration's tough policies and downplayed the possibility of conflict.
BISMARCK — North Dakota fell from a high perch in the U.S. News and World Report comprehensive rankings of states, an annual list that was previously trumpeted by Gov. Doug Burgum. The rankings , which were released Tuesday, May 14, and used "thousands of data points to measure how well states are performing for their citizens," put North Dakota at 15th overall. In each of the first two years of the list, the state ranked fourth.
BISMARCK — Attorneys for a North Dakota licensing board and an out-of-state company butted heads before the state's highest court Tuesday, May 14, over allegations the firm operated here illegally during the Dakota Access Pipeline protests.
BISMARCK — A North Dakota legislative leader said Monday, May 13, that lawmakers won't return to Bismarck for a special session to ease restrictions imposed on State Auditor Josh Gallion and will instead wait nearly two years before considering any changes. Senate Majority Leader Rich Wardner, R-Dickinson, made the declaration during an hourlong meeting in Gallion's state Capitol office. He said House Majority Leader Chet Pollert, a Republican from Carrington who attended by phone, agreed with the decision.
BISMARCK — The head of North Dakota's corrections system is looking forward to a wide-ranging legislative study of her department after lawmakers rejected plans to shuffle prisoners around the state. North Dakota lawmakers budgeted $400,000 to hire a consultant to aid in a study of the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. The agency's budget bill mandated that legislative leaders appoint a special six-member committee to examine the department before the 2021 session.
BISMARCK — North Dakota's lieutenant governor expressed confidence Tuesday, May 7, that the upcoming census will produce a more accurate result after the last headcount struggled with a deluge of oil workers and other residents. Lt. Gov. Brent Sanford, a city councilman and mayor of Watford City during a period of rapid growth in the western region of the state, estimated that tens of thousands of residents were missed during the most recent census in 2010.
BISMARCK — The head of the North Dakota Department of Transportation's driver's license operations is on paid administrative leave during a workplace investigation, a spokeswoman for the agency said Wednesday, May 1. Glenn Jackson has been on leave since February, said DOT spokeswoman Jamie Olson. She said she was unsure what was behind the investigation and didn't know when it would be completed.
BISMARCK — North Dakota's chief elections official hopes to have new equipment at the polls for the 2020 contests after state lawmakers approved $12 million for the devices. Secretary of State Al Jaeger said Wednesday, May 1, the money will be used to purchase new ballot scanners and electronic poll books, which serve as voter records at individual precincts, across the state. The $12 million approved by lawmakers includes $3 million of federal funding.