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ND Legislature

03036 Property tax social services new                           3-15-17 ddt

Representatives of county governments packed a House hearing on a bill that would have the state take over funding of social service programs offered at the county level.

Counties have a special property tax levy for social service programs. And they say the proposal is property tax relief – and property tax reform.

Senate defeats Sunday morning retail sales

Mar 14, 2017

A bill that would have allowed retailers to be open on Sunday mornings has failed in the North Dakota Senate.

Current law makes it a Class B misdemeanor to operate a business before noon on Sundays. There are exceptions for businesses like restaurants, hospitals, hotels and gas stations. Opponents of the repeal of most of that law say workers need Sunday mornings to spend with their families - perhaps at church. One such opponent is Senator Robert Erbele. He calls the need for Sunday morning retail sales "selfish consumerism," and says everyone needs a moment to rest.

Addiction and Boot Camp Prison

Mar 14, 2017
Minnesota Department of Corrections

Recovery from severe drug addiction often requires a lot of time, a lot of effort and separation from drug using friends. Sometimes prison is the only place that offers those three things. Meg Luther Lindholm has more in this Journeys Through Justice report.

The Legislature has voted to de-fund the Tobacco Control and Prevention agency – also known as “Breathe ND.”

That agency’s tobacco prevention functions will be taken over by the state Health Department. Seven staffers and a temporary employee will lose their jobs – and one position will transfer to the Health Department.

The agency was created by initiated measure in 2008 – and receives its money from the lawsuit settlement states reached by the big tobacco companies.

The Senate already voted to defund “Breathe ND.” And the House has now followed suit. 

Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

A bill to remove the remaining “trigger” in North Dakota’s oil taxes is now before a senate committee.

The bill – authored by House Majority Leader Al Carlson (R-Fargo) – would remove language adopted two years ago, when most of the tax triggers were removed. That bill lowered the oil tax from 11 ½ percent to 10 percent – and got rid of tax reductions tied to lower prices. It did have a provision that if oil went back up to $90 a barrel, the tax would go to 11 percent.

Addiction and Sentencing: One Woman's Journey

Mar 14, 2017
https://www.flickr.com/photos/grimages/
Johnny Grim https://www.flickr.com/photos/grimages

No one starts using drugs with the goal of becoming hopelessly addicted. But that is what often happens. In this Journeys Through Justice story, Meg Luther Lindholm speaks with one woman about her journey through addiction.

Jenenne Guffey is a woman with a mission. She works at Prairie St. John’s Hospital in Fargo helping substance abusers recover and get their lives back. She struggled for years with her own drug addiction before she got her life back.  Although when she started using drugs she had no idea how long it would take to stop.

Oil and gas production creates waste that can wreak havoc on farmland and pose health risks.

A new series of maps from the Western Organization of Resource Councils shows locations for waste spills and disposal facilities in North Dakota, Wyoming, Colorado and Montana.

Proposal would get the state into the casino business

Mar 13, 2017
Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

A House committee is studying a Constitutional measure to allow up to six state owned casinos to be built in rural North Dakota.

House Majority Leader Al Carlson (R-Fargo) authored the measure. He said the casinos would be built to be “destination locations.” They would be 5 miles or more from cities of 5000 people or larger, and they would be at least 20 miles from the reservations, which have their own casinos.  It would be put on the statewide ballot in 2018.

Carlson told the House Judiciary Committee the "face of North Dakota has changed."

Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

A new state revenue forecast shows tax collections will be about $46 million less than what lawmakers had expected in January for the current biennium.

It also shows a $103 million shortfall for the 2017-2019 biennium.

The big driver – lower than expected sales tax revenue.

Painted Yoga Fundraiser for Cancer Care

Mar 9, 2017

Modern medicine is rapidly advancing, thanks to research. However, Western medicine’s focus on specific treatments may not improve the overall health of the patient. Main Street’s Ashley Thornberg met two young women, Andrea Krejci Paradis and McCal Joy Johnson, working to change that with their work for Sanford Hospital’s Roger Maris Cancer Center.  

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News from NPR

Musicians from all over the world are settling back at home, recovering from last week's South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas. Hundreds of musicians played throughout the week, for crowds big and small.

Sears used to be the titan of American retailing. But now its future is in doubt.

Shares of the company's stock tumbled 12 percent today after the company acknowledged Tuesday in its annual 10-K filing that its future viability is not a sure thing. A 10-K is a report that public companies file with the Securities and Exchange Commission, giving a comprehensive summary of the company's financial performance.

At the State Department on Wednesday, officials from 68 countries and organizations gathered for a two-day summit to coordinate plans to fight ISIS. This was the first full meeting of the Global Coalition on the Defeat of ISIS since 2014, and a chance for the Trump administration to flesh out what it wants to do differently.

So far, it is mainly stepping up a fight that the Obama administration put in motion.

For the first time in birds, researchers say they have found evidence that a New Zealand parrot has the avian equivalent of an infectious laugh.

They call it "positive emotional contagion" — which they define as "outwardly emotional actions that spread from one individual to another." In humans, this is what happens when one person hears another laugh and also starts cracking up.

Angela Chen makes money hawking her ties to important people, running a consulting firm that helps companies connect with Asia's power players.

So it inevitably attracted notice when Chen spent nearly $16 million recently to buy a four-bedroom Park Avenue penthouse owned by President Trump himself.

The February deal, which was first reported by Mother Jones, underscores one of the problems posed by Trump's ongoing business interests.

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