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 — With the backing of Gov. Doug Burgum, North Dakota's top environmental regulator said Wednesday, Aug. 21, he's considering ways to improve transparency after acknowledging a 2015 gas plant spill was much larger than initial reports suggested. Department of Environmental Quality Director Dave Glatt floated the idea of providing annual updates about active spill responses on their website, which could give the public a better idea of the size of individual incidents.
BISMARCK — A top North Dakota regulator said Tuesday, Aug. 20, more than 240,000 gallons of natural gas liquid were recovered from a 2015 processing plant spill as a well-known environmental blog suggested the state downplayed the incident.
BISMARCK — North Dakota’s governor and Senate leaders were unfazed Tuesday, Aug. 13, that one of their picks for the state’s new ethics commission leads a tribal college that has received more than $2 million in state grants in recent years, which one longtime lawmaker argued is a conflict of interest.
BISMARCK — North Dakota Sen. Kevin Cramer reiterated harsh criticisms of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers this week while denying that he pushed the federal agency to choose a campaign donor's company to build barriers along the U.S. border with Mexico. In written responses to questions from Forum News Service, the first-term Republican senator said he would like to see Dickinson-based Fisher Industries build some of the wall because it's a North Dakota company.
BISMARCK — North Dakota Republican Gov. Doug Burgum signaled some conditional support for so-called "red flag" legislation to curb gun violence Tuesday, Aug. 6, after two mass shootings over the weekend.
BISMARCK — North Dakota lawmakers approved hundreds of bills during their biennial legislative session earlier this year, but many of the policy changes have yet to be implemented. That will change Thursday, Aug. 1, when an array of bills will take effect. While spending legislation takes effect July 1 during odd-numbered years to coincide with the state's two-year budget cycles, policy changes generally become effective a month later.
BISMARCK — Amid a growing national debate over the merits of socialism, North Dakota Republican Gov. Doug Burgum issued a stern message. “Socialism has no place in North Dakota,” his campaign tweeted in February. It was quickly pointed out, however, that the state boasts two institutions with socialist roots: the Bank of North Dakota and the North Dakota Mill and Elevator. Burgum oversees both as chairman of the Industrial Commission.
BISMARCK — A citizen group seeking to block a new North Dakota law further shielding state legislator communications from public view will miss a Tuesday, July 23, deadline to submit signatures to state elections officials. The group had until midnight Tuesday to submit 13,452 signatures to Secretary of State Al Jaeger's office. "I will not be submitting those petitions," Riley Kuntz, a Dickinson electrician leading the effort, said in a text message Tuesday afternoon.
BISMARCK — A handful of Republican members of Congress got a crash course in North Dakota's oil industry during a visit to the state Monday, July 22. The representatives are members of the House Energy Action Team, which was launched in 2011 in an effort to "promote Republican energy policies," according to a news release at the time . The group has recently been revitalized, said freshman Rep. Kelly Armstrong, R-N.D.
BISMARCK — A state legislative committee declined to forward information regarding a negative audit of the North Dakota State College of Science to Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem's office Wednesday, July 17. Rolla Democratic Rep. Marvin Nelson cited a state law requiring the Legislative Audit and Fiscal Review Committee to present information to the attorney general when it has reason to believe a state officer or employee has broken the law related to the use of public funds. The law allows the attorney general to commence an investigation and prosecute state officials.