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
- 6 years 5 months
BISMARCK — The head of a state-funded gambling addiction program implored North Dakota lawmakers to set aside money for treatment and prevention if they follow a national trend and expand betting options to sporting events Monday, Jan. 28. The House Judiciary Committee considered two nearly identical bills allowing charitable gaming organizations to offer sports betting Monday, the first time lawmakers debated the legislation since the U.S. Supreme Court opened the door for states to legalize athletic gambling last year.
BISMARCK — The North Dakota House easily passed a contentious bill requiring physicians to inform women that they could reverse drug-induced abortions, Monday, Jan. 28, a claim opponents have said isn’t supported by science. The 73-16 vote sends House Bill 1336 to the Senate. Supporters said it would give women more information about having an abortion and their options if they change their mind, but opponents maintain it would intrude upon the doctor-patient relationship.
BISMARCK -- Heidi Heitkamp has joined the board of a Washington, D.C.-based think tank named after former U.S. Sen. John McCain, the organization announced Monday, Jan. 28. Heitkamp, a former Democratic senator from North Dakota, will serve on the board of Arizona State University's McCain Institute, which was founded in 2012 as a nonpartisan organization aimed at "advancing character-driven leadership and civic engagement in the U.S. and abroad." Cindy McCain, the widow of the late Republican senator, is the institute's chairwoman.
BISMARCK — A North Dakota Democratic lawmaker wants to remove what she described as outdated language from the state’s breastfeeding law. Fargo Rep. Gretchen Dobervich is the primary sponsor of House Bill 1330, which removes the requirement that women breastfeed in a "discreet and modest manner" in public. It would also make it an infraction to prohibit somebody from breastfeeding, punishable by up to a $1,000 fine.
BISMARCK -- The North Dakota Senate defeated legislation banning discrimination based on sexual orientation Friday, Jan. 25, again turning down efforts to add LGBT protections to state law. Senate Bill 2303 failed in a 20-27 vote. Grand Forks Democratic Sen. JoNell Bakke, the bill's primary sponsor, said it was meant to focus on prohibiting discrimination in housing and employment. The House will consider another similar bill that doesn't cover gender identity. That bill hasn't yet been scheduled for a hearing.
BISMARCK — The head of North Dakota’s state-owned bank said Thursday, Jan. 24, that legislation offering interest-free loans to federal employees affected by the partial government shutdown raises "significant" constitutional concerns, but he offered another option to address workers’ financial stress.
BISMARCK — The North Dakota Senate will consider a bill banning discrimination based on sexual orientation Friday, Jan. 25, after a legislative panel declined to back the legislation. The Senate Judiciary Committee again gave Senate Bill 2303 a “do not pass” recommendation in a 5-1 vote Thursday, one day after its supporters packed a Capitol hearing room and urged lawmakers to add LGBT protections to state law. The Republican-led Legislature has defeated anti-discrimination bills several times in recent sessions.
BISMARCK -- The North Dakota House agreed to prevent public employers from inquiring about a job applicant's criminal history until they have been selected for an interview Thursday, Jan. 24. House Bill 1282 is meant to give people with a criminal record a "second chance," said Republican Rep. Vernon Laning, who didn't sponsor the bill but supported it during a short floor debate. He said state corrections officials testified that an inability to "obtain meaningful employment was one of the biggest reasons for recidivism."
BISMARCK — Democratic lawmakers in the North Dakota Legislature have introduced a bill allowing the state’s college students to use a university-issued identification to vote. House Bill 1479 would require colleges and universities to provide students with an identification card that could be scanned by a polling clerk to access their address in the state's central voter file, but IDs issued to students younger than 18 years old or noncitizens must appear "significantly" different. The bill was scheduled to have its first hearing Thursday, Jan. 24.
BISMARCK — North Dakota lawmakers would be reimbursed by taxpayers for meals during the legislative session under a bipartisan bill that supporters said is partly a response to new state ethics rules. House Bill 1505 comes with an estimated two-year price tag of nearly $401,500 and allows lawmakers to claim meal reimbursement for each day during organizational, special and regular legislative sessions.