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
- 4 years 10 months
BISMARCK -- A bill adjusting North Dakota’s voter ID law awaits action from Gov. Doug Burgum after the Legislature approved it this week. The Senate passed House Bill 1369 in a 35-10 vote Tuesday, April 18, after the House approved it Monday. Although proponents said it will help protect the integrity of the state’s elections, an attorney challenging North Dakota’s voter ID laws said the bill doesn’t comply with a federal judge’s 2016 ruling.
BISMARCK—North Dakota lawmakers have approved changes to the state's Good Samaritan law that provides immunity to those reporting drug overdoses. The Senate unanimously passed House Bill 1269 Tuesday, April 18, marking its final step before going to Gov. Doug Burgum. It says a person is immune from prosecution for drug possession charges if they, "in good faith," seek medical assistance for someone overdosing on drugs.
BISMARCK — A bill creating a commission to study North Dakota's initiated and referred measure process is on its way to Gov. Doug Burgum after lawmakers approved it Monday, April 17. The commission would study the process and cost of placing initiated and referred measures on the ballot and whether any state law or constitutional provision should be amended. It would also study whether to put limits on out-of-state funding of measures.
BISMARCK — Despite concerns about funding cuts for North Dakota universities, state lawmakers passed a slimmer higher education budget bill Friday, April 14. Senate Bill 2003 includes more than $610 million in general fund spending for the state's campuses and university system, which is a little more than the higher education appropriation in the 2009-11 funding cycle but amounts to a nearly 32 percent cut from what lawmakers agreed to spend two years ago. The bill includes a fraction of the one-time spending that lawmakers authorized for the 2015-17 biennium.
BISMARCK -- A committee of House and Senate lawmakers approved a bill Friday, April 14, that proponents said will add protections for confidential informants used by North Dakota law enforcement.
BISMARCK — The North Dakota Senate passed one tax incentive bill the same day it defeated another Thursday, April 13. Lawmakers unanimously passed Senate Bill 2166, which requires cities to notify the affected county and school district before granting a property tax incentive for more than five years. It allows the county and school district to decline to participate in granting the incentive and negotiate its terms with the city.
BISMARCK—The North Dakota Senate defeated a bill seeking a temporary cap on state matching funds for senior services Thursday, April 13. Senate Bill 2273 failed in a 20-27 vote. The bill would have limited the matching grants paid to counties for senior services to $3.5 million a year, which is a little more than what was paid this year.
BISMARCK — North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum plans to sign a rewrite of the state’s medical marijuana law after senators passed what one lawmaker called a “landmark piece of legislation” Thursday, April 13.
BISMARCK — North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum said Thursday, April 13, that he smoked marijuana while hitchhiking in the 1970s. Burgum, a first-term Republican, made the remarks during a press conference after the Senate passed a medical marijuana bill Thursday morning. Asked by a reporter whether he had ever smoked marijuana, Burgum said he did while hitchhiking to Alaska in the summer of 1976. "Everybody that picks you up when you're hitchhiking to Alaska in 1976 generally wants to share some company and share some other things while you're driving," he said.
BISMARCK — North Dakota senators rejected a proposal Wednesday, April 12 that would have allowed voters to seek a cap on property tax increases. House Bill 1361, introduced by House Majority Leader Al Carlson, R-Fargo, would have allowed voters to limit property tax increases to 3 percent over what was levied in dollars the previous year. The cap could have applied to park districts, cities and counties.