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 lawmakers will meet behind closed doors next month to discuss whether to proceed with a lawsuit over vetoes issued by Gov. Doug Burgum, the chairman of a powerful legislative committee said Saturday, Aug. 26. Legislative Management will meet Sept. 28 at the state Capitol before going into executive session, said Sen. Ray Holmberg, R-Grand Forks. The meeting will be closed to the public according to the attorney-client privilege exception to the state's open meeting laws, and any vote would be taken in public, he said.
BISMARCK — The State Water Commission approved $17 million for a pipeline to bring Missouri River water to the eastern North Dakota during times of drought Wednesday, Aug. 24. The state Legislature set aside $30 million this session for the project, which is expected to cost about $1 billion. Lawmakers said $17 million of that is to be used to complete the planning and permitting process.
BISMARCK — North Dakota higher education leaders highlighted efforts to improve student graduation rates Wednesday, Aug. 23. University System Chancellor Mark Hagerott and University of North Dakota President Mark Kennedy gave presentations to an interim legislative committee on the Bismarck State College campus, where both men said graduation rates need work.
BISMARCK — The North Dakota Emergency Commission approved $1.5 million for a hay transportation program for drought-stricken livestock producers Tuesday, Aug. 22. The commission, chaired by Gov. Doug Burgum, approved a request from the adjutant general to borrow $1.5 million from the Bank of North Dakota. The funding would then be sent to the Department of Agriculture to administer the program.
BISMARCK—A new North Dakota law being challenged by major farm equipment manufacturers won't be enforced for now, a federal judge ruled last week. The Association of Equipment Manufacturers and several big-name companies challenged Senate Bill 2289, which went into effect Aug. 1. The association said it would "impose unprecedented restrictions" on farm equipment manufacturers in their relationships with dealers.
BISMARCK—The U.S. Department of Justice awarded North Dakota $10 million to reimburse the state for costs associated with the Dakota Access Pipeline protests, Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D., said Tuesday, Aug. 15. The $10 million represents only a portion of the estimated $38 million the state and Morton County have incurred from the monthslong protests. Hoeven previously said the state shouldn't expect the federal government to cover the entire bill.
BISMARCK—A resolution has not yet come in a long-running bankruptcy case involving an off-track horse race wagering company despite the North Dakota Legislature setting aside nearly $16 million to resolve the issue earlier this year.
BISMARCK—North Dakota regulators delayed a hearing meant to examine potential violations by the company that built the Dakota Access Pipeline Tuesday, Aug. 15. An attorney for the pipeline company asked the three-member Public Service Commission to consider delaying Thursday's investigation hearing "to allow PSC staff and DAPL to meet, confer and hopefully resolve many, if not all, of the issues to be discussed" at the hearing. Commissioner Julie Fedorchak was the only dissenting vote against granting that request.
BISMARCK—Sen. Heidi Heitkamp called North Korea the "the single largest existential threat to our country" on Monday, Aug. 14. The North Dakota Democrat's remarks came during a lunch meeting of the Bismarck Lions Club, where she discussed health care, tax and regulatory reform, and offered her opinion of Republican President Donald Trump.
BISMARCK—A firm contracted by the company that built the Dakota Access Pipeline disputed last week the allegation it was providing "security and private investigative services" during the monthslong protests against the project. North Carolina-based TigerSwan's answer to a lawsuit from the North Dakota Private Investigative and Security Board was filed Thursday, Aug. 10, about about six weeks after the board's complaint was filed in Burleigh County District Court. The regulatory board accused TigerSwan of operating in the state without a license and sought an injunction.