Local Stories

House kills oil tax bill

Apr 7, 2017
ND Legislature

The House has defeated a measure that makes the tax on oil permanent at 10 percent.

The bill follows up the actions of the 2015 Legislature, which got rid of most of the low price "triggers" to reduce the oil tax -- but lowered the top rate from 11 1/2 percent to 10 percent. But there still was a top-end trigger, so if the price of a barrel of oil hit $90, the tax would go up to 11 percent. As introduced, the bill would have ended that top-end trigger.

Capitol building security measures will be permanent

Apr 6, 2017
ND Legislature

When the 2017 Legislative session began, security measures were put in place at the state Capitol because of concern about Dakota Access Pipeline protestors disrupting lawmakers’ work.

Now, the Legislature has decided to make those measures permanent. That means public access will only be allowed through the Capitol’s south doors. That entrance will have permanent metal detectors, and will have Highway Patrol officers armed with tasers.

ND Legislature

A bill that could lead to North Dakota collecting sales tax from Internet retailers is on its way to Gov. Burgum.

The bill would require an Internet site that has $100,000 or more in sales to North Dakotans – or has 200 or more North Dakota clients, to remit sales tax collections to the state. But it will only happen if and when the US Supreme Court overturns its ruling -- in the "Quill v. North Dakota" case -- that does not allow states to collect those taxes.

ND Legislature

The House has approved the budget bill for the state Industrial Commission – and included in that is a proposal that could end the profit sharing arrangement for workers at the state Mill and Elevator.

The bill would have 75 percent of the Mill’s profits transferred to the state’s general fund. Right now, it’s 50-50.

Rep. Rich Becker (R-Grand Forks) said for those mill workers who are eligible for profit sharing, that could mean a 13 to 19 percent pay reduction.

ND Legislature

The House has narrowly passed the budget for the state Department of Transportation.

Many of the “no” votes came because of DOT’s proposal to close eight maintenance sites around the state. Those scheduled to be closed include New England, Fessenden, Starkweather, Courtney, Gackle, Litchville, Finley and Mayville. The plan is to offer the shops and the snowplows with them to counties, cities or townships. DOT would lease the buildings, and give the snowplows to local governments.

ND Legislature

A rewrite of the initiated measure on medical marijuana is a step closer to becoming law.

The House has passed the latest version of the medical marijuana bill on a 79 to 13 vote.

The House Human Services Committee adopted an extensive set of amendments to the bill – outlining what forms the cannabis could take, and lowering the fee for individuals to use the product from the proposed $200 a year to $50.

The chairman of the House Human Services Committee -- Rep. Robin Weisz (R-Hurdsfield) said the bill is not perfect -- but...

Internet retail sales tax bill passes House

Apr 5, 2017
ND Legislature

The House has passed a bill that could allow North Dakota to start collecting sales tax from some Internet retailers.

The bill requires an on-line retailer to sell at least $100,000 worth of goods to North Dakota customers – or have 200 or more North Dakotans making purchases – before the sales tax can be collected. And it can only happen if the US Supreme Court overturns its decision in the "Quill v. North Dakota" case that prohibited a sales tax on Internet retail sales.

House passes campaign finance reform bill

Apr 5, 2017
ND Legislature

The House has passed a new campaign finance reporting bill.

It expands what candidates have to report to the Secretary of State to include campaign expenditures and the amount of contributions under that $200 threshold. Contributions over $200 are reported individually. It also prohibits a candidate form using campaign contributions for personal things.

"I hope that we as a Legislature give this strong support," said House Minority Leader Corey Mock (D-Grand Forks). "We will send a message to all North Dakotans that we are not afraid of a little sunlight."

ND Legislature

Supporters call it a game of skill. Opponents say it’s nothing more than a slot machine.

And the House narrowly agreed with the latter view – defeating a bill that would have allowed betting on “historic horse races.”

Under the bill, you could bet on a previously run horse race. The races would be available through electronic devices. And those devices would only show the last moments of those races.  The bill would have allowed those machines in up to 10 locations across North Dakota, and those places would have to have authorized off-track betting.

Mn. Leadership Opposes Trump Budget

Apr 4, 2017

Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton is reaching out to the state’s Congressional delegation asking them to oppose the budget being set forward by President Trump. Reporter Todd McDonald has details...


News from NPR

For only the third time ever, the government released today a national report card examining the knowledge, understanding and abilities of U.S. eighth-graders in visual arts and music.

And in many ways, the numbers aren't great, with little progress shown in most categories since the last time the assessment was given in 2008. One bright spot: The achievement gap between Hispanic students and their white peers has narrowed. But Hispanics and African-Americans still lag far behind white and Asian eighth-graders.

As a hurry-up execution schedule plays out in Arkansas this week, the U.S. Supreme Court and Arkansas Supreme Court have stepped in to block two of the eight executions initially scheduled for an 11-day period.

In the 1950s, television producer Albert Freedman captivated audiences with his carefully crafted game show Twenty-One, which had been foundering before he helped turn it into the most popular program in the country.

Updated at 7:30 p.m. ET

An article on a State Department website about President Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort has been removed after criticism that it was an inappropriate use of taxpayer funds.

Critics complained that resources were being used to tout the for-profit club, which Trump refers to as the Winter White House. The club, in Palm Beach, Fla., is held in Trump's trust, of which he is the sole beneficiary.

Robert M. Pirsig, who inspired generations to road trip across America with his "novelistic autobigraphy," Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, died Monday at the age of 88.

His publisher William Morrow & Company said in a statement that Pirsig died at his home in South Berwick, Maine, "after a period of failing health."

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