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 budget-writers signaled support Tuesday, March 26, for an extra $133 million for the Fargo-Moorhead diversion, short of what planners of the flood protection project and Gov. Doug Burgum have sought. The increased funding is in line with what state senators approved through a larger package of water projects last month. A division of the House Appropriations Committee discussed the project Tuesday morning but didn't take formal action on the budget.
BISMARCK — North Dakota senators overwhelmingly rejected a bill legalizing professional and collegiate sports betting Monday, March 25. House Bill 1254 was prompted by the 2018 U.S. Supreme Court decision ruling unconstitutional a federal law that largely outlawed sports betting. Proponents argued it would generate money for charitable gaming organizations, addiction services and state coffers. The bill, sponsored by Bismarck Republican Rep. Jason Dockter, would have allowed charitable gaming organizations to offer wagers on the outcome of athletic events.
BISMARCK — North Dakota senators narrowly rejected a bill Monday, March 25, allowing medical marijuana users to buy edible products amid fears children could access the drug. More than half of the Senate supported House Bill 1364, but it fell three votes short of the two-thirds majority needed to amend a recent ballot measure.
BISMARCK — Gov. Doug Burgum signed legislation repealing North Dakota's ban on Sunday morning shopping Monday, March 25, his office said. The Republican governor's signature was expected. Burgum, a former software executive, had already signaled his support for the repeal bill. The repeal becomes effective Aug. 1, meaning the first Sunday with legal morning sales will Aug. 4. In a statement, Burgum said the legislation would help North Dakota businesses compete with online retailers and stores in neighboring states.
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.