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 House lawmakers approved a bill banning the storage and disposal of high-level radioactive waste in the state Wednesday, March 20. Senate Bill 2037 passed in an 88-4 vote. The Senate will have to agree with changes made by the House before it moves to Gov. Doug Burgum.
BISMARCK — The North Dakota Senate voted to prevent local governments from regulating plastic bags and other containers Wednesday, March 20. House Bill 1200 passed in a 31-14 vote and now moves to Gov. Doug Burgum. If he signs it, political subdivisions wouldn't be able to ban, restrict or impose fees on an "auxiliary container," which encompasses bags, cups, straws and other packaging made from plastic, paper, aluminum and other materials.
BISMARCK — North Dakota senators easily rejected a bill seeking to tap earnings from the state's oil tax piggy bank to replace state income taxes Wednesday, March 20.
BISMARCK — A North Dakota senator walked back comments in which he appeared to say that he required a young employee to attend church confirmation Wednesday, March 20. During a debate over whether to lift the state's ban on Sunday morning shopping Tuesday, Velva Republican Sen. Shawn Vedaa, who owns a grocery store, relayed an anecdote about a young worker who requested to work every Sunday.
BISMARCK -- North Dakota lawmakers received a second opinion on revenue projections Tuesday, March 12, that included rosier oil prices but lower production figures for the upcoming two-year budget cycle than one presented by the state's executive branch Monday. The estimates from IHS Markit, a firm lawmakers hired after previous revenue projections missed the mark, came a couple of days before legislative appropriators are expected to adopt a revenue forecast to guide their budgeting decisions on Thursday.
BISMARCK — A panel chaired by North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum voted Monday, March 11, to pursue a legislative fix that would pay back state funds that the state's land commissioner says have been shorted, putting it at odds with top Republican lawmakers.
BISMARCK — North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum signed his first bill of the 2019 session Wednesday afternoon, March 6, approving legislation removing mandatory minimum sentences for certain drug crimes, his office said.
BISMARCK — The North Dakota House and Senate passed separate resolutions Wednesday, March 6, aimed at making it harder for voters to amend the state's constitution. House Concurrent Resolution 3010 would raise the threshold for passing constitutional measures proposed by citizens to 60 percent instead of a majority. It passed in a 65-26 vote and will be considered by the Senate.
BISMARCK — The North Dakota Senate sent a bill putting restrictions on public employers' ability to consider a job applicant's criminal history to Gov. Doug Burgum Tuesday, March 5. The so-called "ban the box" bill would prevent certain public entities from inquiring about an applicant's criminal past until they're chosen for an interview. The Senate passed it in a 43-2 vote more than a month after the House approved it.
BISMARCK — Efforts to decriminalize marijuana offenses aren’t dead in the North Dakota Legislature, with the chairwoman of the Senate Judiciary Committee backing a measure to reduce penalties for possessing a small amount of the drug. Sen. Diane Larson, R-Bismarck, has drafted a bill amendment lowering penalties for possessing a half-ounce or less of marijuana for the first time to a noncriminal offense with a $500 fine. That’s currently a Class B misdemeanor.