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ND Legislature

The majority leaders in the House and Senate said they believe the Legislature could end its session Saturday.

When the session started, they had hoped to have 10 days in the bank in case they needed to come back – but that’s not going to happen – and  both House Majority Leader Al Carlson and Senate Majority Leader Rich Wardner said it’s more likely they will get done this weekend.

"I'd like to be done before Saturday, but I think that's probably as good a guess as you can find," Wardner told reporters.

As to what could be roadblocks to adjournment?

Xcel and buried power lines in Fargo

Apr 17, 2017

The Public Service Commission said a plan to have Fargo’s Xcel Energy electric customers to pay for a project in downtown Fargo is raising questions.

Fargo city leaders have asked Xcel to bury power lines in the downtown area. It proposes a “special facilities rider” on Fargo’s Xcel customers’ bills.

"It basically allows a company to develop a plan," said Commissioner Julie Fedorchak. "They (Xcel) would account for the costs that are higher than standard construction parameters. If the city agrees, Xcel would allocate it to all the city customers."

A Conversation About Refugee Resettlment

Apr 13, 2017

The Fargo Human Relations Commission has released the findings of a study looking at refugee resettlement programs. The study was called for by City Commissioner Dave Piepkorn last October. Piepkorn was critical of the programs and questioned the cost of the programs to a city. In delivering a summary of the report, Human Relations Commission member Barry Nelson says the results reflect how a community can benefit from resettlement programs which he says help boost the regional workforce.

Amy Sisk / Prairie Public

Oil production is bouncing back, but North Dakota is having trouble finding workers to fill new energy jobs.

North Dakota is once again producing over 1 million barrels of oil per day, after the number dropped below a million this winter. It rebounded in February, according to figures released Thursday from the North Dakota Department of Mineral Resources.

Thursday, April 13 – Our weekly news chat with Dave Thompson. ~~~ Matt Olien is here with a movie review as we head into the Easter holiday weekend. ~~~ Harvest Public Media’s Luke Runyon introduces us to the immigrants who want to become U-S citizens. ~~~ From NPR’s Morning Edition, we learn about a new book from Peter Deveraux. He’s the author of The Card Catalog: Books, Cards, and Literary Treasures. The book pays tribute to the card catalog. ~~~ Chef Rosey is here to talk about grilled cheese.

Drug Court: A Criminal Justice Success Story

Apr 13, 2017

One of the success stories in North Dakota’s criminal justice system has been its drug courts. In this  Journeys Through Justice story, Meg Luther Lindholm looks at how drug court works through the experience of one man who tried and failed at everything else.

Every Thursday at 4pm the gavel comes down to signal the start of drug court in Fargo, North Dakota.  This week approximately 20 drug offenders have shown up to report on their efforts to stay clean of drugs and alcohol.

Its sponsors call it “landmark legislation.”

The state Senate has passed a bill that rewrites the medical marijuana initiated measure – to make sure the state can regulate it. The bill sets out the allowable forms medical marijuana can take – including smoking. It sets limits on the amount of allowable THC in the product. And it works to make sure it isn’t used for recreation.

House says 'no' to parking meters

Apr 13, 2017
ND Legislature

The House has said “no” to parking meters.

The meters have been banned in North Dakota since the 1950s. The House had earlier amended the bill – saying parking meters could be allowed in a city if voters okay it. But a conference committee  came back with the original Senate language – allowing that decision to be made by local elected officials.

Rep. Jim Grueneich (R-Jamestown) said he doubted whether many cities would install parking meters.

ND Legislature

The House has passed its version of a property tax relief bill.

Like the Senate version , it achieves relief through the state picking up the costs of county social service programs. This will replace the 12 percent buy-down program currently in state law. But the House plan only buys down what a local county levies for those programs, whereas the Senate’s version gives those counties that don’t levy the maximum 20 mills a pot of money to make up the difference between what they  actually collect and what property taxpayers would receive under the 12 percent buy-down.

ND Legislature

A conference committee has reached agreement on the budget bill for the North Dakota Highway Patrol.

Conferees agreed to keep a proposal in that bill for permanent security measures at the state Capitol. Metal detectors were temporarily installed for the 2017 Legislative session because of concerns about Dakota Access Pipeline protests that might have come to the Capitol building.

There's also money in that budget for security guards to carry tasers.

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News from NPR

Gunfire erupted between Philippine security forces and militants in Marawi City in the mid-afternoon Tuesday. By the time the sun had set on the small southern city, President Rodrigo Duterte had declared martial law in the region and vowed to end his diplomatic trip to Moscow early.

One day after a bombing claimed at least 22 lives at a concert venue in Manchester, England, Prime Minister Theresa May has announced the U.K. is raising its terror threat level. The move declared Tuesday evening means members of the British military will be deployed throughout the country to supplement its police forces.

When the Trump administration previewed its budget last March, it called it the "hard power" budget. The latest details show that it greatly increases spending on defense, veterans and homeland security, and slashes funding for major social safety net programs such as Medicaid and SNAP (also known as food stamps).

Top officials at the U.S. Department of Agriculture didn't even try to act enthusiastic as they unveiled details of their agency's proposed 2018 budget, which includes drastic cuts in spending. "We're going to do the best we can," said Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue. "It's my job to implement that plan."

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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