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 — Gov. Doug Burgum will donate the salary he earned during his first months in office to boost addiction services in North Dakota, he said Monday, May 22. The governor plans to decline his salary after the start of a new budget cycle July 1, following a campaign pledge the first-term Republican and tech magnate made to give his salary back to North Dakota taxpayers.
BISMARCK—Officials in the state's largest counties are predicting property tax increases under changes enacted during the most recent legislative session. But Gov. Doug Burgum said the state is boosting funds for property tax relief and argued the ultimate responsibility for the tax rests with local governments. The North Dakota Legislature this year eliminated the 12 percent property tax credit and instead implemented a two-year pilot program for the state takeover of county social services costs, suspending county authority to levy 20 mills for those programs.
BISMARCK — Rep. Kevin Cramer, R-N.D., said Thursday, May 18, that he trusts that the Justice Department made the right call by appointing a special counsel to investigate alleged Russian meddling in last year's election.
BISMARCK—A North Dakota regulator expects a decision on the final state permit for a wind farm northeast of Valley City to come by the end of the summer. The Public Service Commission already issued a siting permit to Glacier Ridge Wind Farm, LLC for the first phase of the Barnes County project last year. The commission is now notifying the public on the opportunity to seek a hearing on the second phase, which would include 35 planned wind turbines. In total, the 300.15-megawatt project includes 87 planned turbines, according to documents posted on the PSC website.
BISMARCK — North Dakota legislative leaders have requested an attorney general's opinion on whether Gov. Doug Burgum overstepped his constitutional authority on several vetoes he issued after the Legislature adjourned in late April. Rep. Al Carlson and Sen. Rich Wardner, the Republican majority leaders in their respective chambers, sent a letter to Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem Wednesday, May 17, requesting his opinion on a handful of Burgum's vetoes.
BISMARCK — The three members of North Dakota's congressional delegation offered differing reactions to recent news reports that called into question President Donald Trump's handling of classified information and last week's firing of the FBI director. On Monday, May 15, several news outlets reported Trump revealed highly classified information about the Islamic State to Russian officials during an Oval Office visit, which was followed a day later by reports that Trump had asked former FBI Director James Comey to end the investigation into an adviser.
BISMARCK — It's unlikely that North Dakota lawmakers will reconvene to address several vetoes announced by Gov. Doug Burgum after the Legislature adjourned late last month, legislative leaders said Tuesday, May 16. When asked if expected the Legislature to come back to the Capitol, Sen. Ray Holmberg, R-Grand Forks, said, "I do not think so." Holmberg is chairman of the 17-member committee known as Legislative Management that would decide whether to reconvene.
BISMARCK—An impending vacancy on the North Dakota Supreme Court has attracted 11 applicants, including three judges, the court announced Monday, May 15. The vacancy will be created when Justice Carol Kapsner resigns on July 31. The applicants are: • Reid Brady, Fargo • Grady Crooks, Haughton, La. • Charles DeMakis, Minot • Judge James Hill, Mandan • Judge Jon Jensen, Grand Forks • Sophie Morgan, Bismarck • Janilyn Murtha, Dickinson • Matthew Olson, Minot • Judge Robin Schmidt, Watford City
BISMARCK—A lawsuit against the North Dakota Department of Health brought by a former employee was dismissed late last year after the two sides reached a $90,000 settlement. Ranae Kunz, a former autopsy assistant who was fired after complaining about sexual harassment in the workplace, sued the department in April 2016. In the complaint filed in U.S. District Court in North Dakota, she alleged the department unlawfully retaliated against her, causing a loss of income, mental anguish, emotional distress and other damages in excess of $75,000.
BISMARCK — A new venture from Forum Communications Co. is seeking to acquire and invest in companies outside of the traditional media industry. Gen7 Investments, a reference to past and future generations of the company's family ownership, was launched recently and made its first investment in a marketing calendar software firm last week. Although it's separate business, Gen7 is a company of Forum Communications and run by company leaders.