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—State and local public health officials are assessing how funding cuts may affect anti-tobacco efforts in North Dakota after the elimination of a standalone state agency dedicated to such programs.
BISMARCK — Jill Stein, the Green Party candidate in last year's presidential race who spray painted construction equipment during the Dakota Access Pipeline protests, has pleaded guilty to misdemeanor criminal mischief, court records filed Wednesday, Aug. 9 show.
BISMARCK—The North Dakota Public Service Commission took no formal action after meeting behind closed doors for about an hour Tuesday, Aug. 8, regarding a complaint against the company that built the Dakota Access Pipeline. The meeting, which was closed to the public for attorney consultation, came about nine months after commission staff filed a formal complaint alleging the company failed to get permission before adjusting the pipeline's route once "cultural materials" were discovered. Staff proposed a $15,000 fine in early November.
BISMARCK — North Dakota lawmakers may consider increased reporting requirements for ride-hailing companies like Uber and Lyft when they reconvene in 2019, a Republican legislator said Friday, Aug. 4. Under state law, "transportation network companies" must report the number of crashes its drivers were involved in while a passenger was on board to the state Department of Transportation. But in almost all cases, those biannual reports don't detail the severity of those incidents.
BISMARCK — The state of North Dakota will not enforce two new laws amid a court challenge from a national group representing pharmacy benefit managers. In an order filed late last month, U.S. District Court Judge Daniel Hovland said state officials have "provided assurances" to the plaintiff, the Pharmaceutical Care Management Association, that they won't enforce the laws until the court rules on the association's request for a preliminary injunction. The association withdrew its request for a temporary restraining order, the judge wrote.
BISMARCK — A top North Dakota election official said Friday, Aug. 4 they may provide some data to a controversial commission studying alleged voter fraud, but Deputy Secretary of State Jim Silrum cautioned it wouldn't reveal voters' candidate preferences.
BISMARCK—State officials are preparing to tear down the current North Dakota governor's residence after a search for somebody interested in preserving the 57-year-old building came up empty. Facility Management Director John Boyle said Gov. Doug Burgum will move next month into the new residence, located just north of the current home on the southwest corner of the Capitol grounds. Crews will take a couple of weeks removing hazardous materials like asbestos before demolition, which is expected to begin in early October.
BISMARCK—Discontinuing federal subsidies to health insurers established by the Affordable Care Act would upset markets and raise premiums, North Dakota's insurance commissioner warned Thursday, Aug. 3. Republican Jon Godfread's message comes amid concerns the Trump administration will cut off the subsidies, known as "cost-sharing reduction payments." The payments are intended to compensate insurers for reducing out-of-pocket costs for low-income people buying ACA marketplace plans, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.
BISMARCK—Eight days after a racially fueled confrontation in a Fargo parking lot, North Dakota lawmakers began examining the state's refugee resettlement program Wednesday, Aug. 2. The interim Human Services Committee's study was prompted by legislation passed earlier this year that sought an examination of various aspects of resettlement, and the committee was tasked with reviewing the impact on workforce, government services, human services, education and health care.
BISMARCK — Two North Dakota legislators plan to seek clarity from the state's attorney general on the state's permitless carry law that took effect Tuesday, Aug. 1. Rep. Todd Porter, R-Mandan, said there's some confusion over whether gun owners can carry a loaded firearm in their car under the new "constitutional carry" law. He said people shouldn't do so for now, given that he's heard that some state's attorneys and law enforcement officials have asked questions.