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.
- Member for
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BISMARCK — North Dakota lawmakers are making another push to prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation with a pair of scaled-back proposals meant to be more palatable to the Republican-controlled Legislature. Rep. Mary Johnson, R-Fargo, introduced a bipartisan bill banning discrimination based on sexual orientation in housing, employment and public accommodations or services. State law already prohibits discrimination based on race, sex, religion, national origin and other factors.
BISMARCK — People who fraudulently claim their dog is a service animal could face a $100 fine under a bill considered by a North Dakota legislative committee Wednesday, Jan. 16. House Bill 1259, introduced by a group of Republican lawmakers led by Jamestown Rep. Bernie Satrom, would make it an infraction to falsely claim that a pet is a service animal in an attempt to "gain admission to a public place" or obtain housing. Satrom said his bill is meant to deter what he said were increasingly common abuses of service animal ownership to "gain special access and accommodations."
BISMARCK — North Dakota lawmakers had introduced 869 bills and resolutions as of Monday, Jan. 14, the most in 10 years, according to a memo sent to reporters. Monday marked the deadline for House lawmakers to introduce bills. As of that deadline in 2017, 727 bills and resolutions were introduced in the Legislature. This year marked the most active Legislature since 2009, when lawmakers introduced 913 bills and resolutions at this point of the session, according to the Legislative Council memo.
BISMARCK — A bipartisan group of North Dakota lawmakers, police chiefs and education officials unveiled legislation Tuesday, Jan. 15, allowing officers to seize firearms from people deemed dangerous, a proposal that could face some pushback in the gun-friendly Legislature.
BISMARCK -- Republican leaders in the North Dakota Legislature have introduced legislation to implement the new anti-corruption measure voters inserted into the state constitution. House Bill 1521, introduced by House Majority Leader Chet Pollert and Senate Majority Leader Rich Wardner, outlines a process for filing ethics complaints against public officials, includes exceptions to the prohibition against lobbyist gifts and budgets $100,000 to new ethics commission.
BISMARCK — North Dakota lawmakers again wrestled with the state’s medical marijuana law Monday, Jan. 14, amid some frustration that the drug isn’t yet available to patients almost two years after the state enacted the voter-approved statute. Fargo Democratic Rep. Pam Anderson, an early medical marijuana proponent, pushed a bill adding several conditions that would qualify for the drug’s use, including autism, anxiety disorder and Tourette syndrome. She said the proposed additions were driven by constituent requests.
BISMARCK — North Dakota lawmakers set revenue figures that will guide their budget-writing actions during the first weeks of the 2019 session Wednesday, Jan. 9, with less optimistic oil and gas tax predictions than Gov. Doug Burgum used in his proposed spending plan. The forecast, approved unanimously by both the House and Senate appropriations committees, assumes a $42.50 per barrel North Dakota oil price for the 2019-21 biennium, lower than both the executive forecast and figures from IHS Markit, a firm lawmakers hired to provide a second opinion on state revenues.
BISMARCK — A North Dakota legislative hearing exposed familiar battle lines in the long-running debate Wednesday, Jan. 9, over the state’s ban on Sunday morning shopping as another repeal effort faced its first test in the Republican-controlled Legislature.
BISMARCK — A North Dakota legislative committee gave its blessing to a proposal raising the age of criminal culpability from 7 to 10 years old Tuesday, Jan. 8. State law currently considers North Dakotans under 7 years old "incapable” of committing a crime. Children under that age could be referred to social services rather than the juvenile court system, said Cathy Ferderer, the State Court Administrator office's juvenile court coordinator. Ferderer said raising the culpability age would open avenues for more children to deal with underlying family issues.
BISMARCK — A North Dakota lawmaker plans to introduce legislation to effectively eliminate state income taxes and use earnings from the voter-approved Legacy Fund to replace the lost revenue. Republican Rep. Craig Headland, who chairs the House Finance and Taxation Committee, said Monday, Jan. 7, his proposal wouldn’t immediately eliminate individual and corporate income taxes but would gradually reduce them as additional Legacy Fund earnings come in. He plans to introduce the bill this week.