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Three Bismarck Legislators have a bill ready to give state employees raises in the 2019-2021 biennium.

It was drafted by the Bismarck District 32 Republican legislators – Sen. Dick Dever, Rep. Pat Heinert and Rep Lisa Meier.

Under their bill, state workers would get an across-the-board $300 a month raise in the first year of the biennium. Heinert said that figure comes from a look back at what state workers received in previous years.

Making ND more 'military friendly'

Nov 12, 2018

A task force has been working on ways to make North Dakota more “military friendly.”

Gov. Doug Burgum appointed that group to look at removing barriers for spouses of military personnel who come to North Dakota, or military members who want to stay here, to find jobs.

"We want to make sure North Dakota is a place that provides opportunities for veterans," said National Guard Adjutant General Alan Dohrmann. "This is not just about saying 'thank you' -- this is about makig sure we get the quality workforce this state needs."

One of the leaders of the drive for Measure One – the ethics measure, which voters passed – said she’s meeting with representatives of the measure’s opponents, hoping to “smooth things over” after a spirited campaign.

Voters passed the measure in Tuesday’s election.  A number of business groups, lobbying organizations and  the ACLU opposed the measure.

Supporters are working with legislators and the Legislative Council for enabling legislation to be introduced in the 2019 Legislative session.

Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

Xcel Energy will be allowed to use the savings from the federal tax cut bill to pay for the clean-up of a manufactured natural gas plant in Fargo.

The North Dakota Public Service Commission has given its approval to that plan.

Xcel said the cost of the clean-up – which will take a number of years – closely mirrors that of the savings in federal taxes the company is realizing, after corporate tax rates were cut. The utility said using those savings will prevent any need for a rate increase.

Sen. Ray Holmberg (R-Grand Forks) has been elected to another term.

And he's reaching a milestone.

"This was my 12th election," Holmberg said. "I have already completed 42 years. Next election, I would tie with two other for the longest serving Senator in state history."

Those other lawmakers are David Nething (R-Jamestown) and Duane Mutch (R-Larimore).

To what does he attribute winning re-election so many times?

Sen. - elect Cramer preparing to transition

Nov 8, 2018
Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

North Dakota Congressman Kevin Cramer(R) becomes a US Senator in January.

Cramer said he’s now working on the transition and looking for staff for his Senate office. But he still has some "House-work" to do, in the upcoming "lame duck" session.

"We have several weeks of session ahead of us," Cramer told Bismarck reporters. "We have some work to do."

The General Manager and CEO of Basin Electric Power Cooperative is optimistic about the co-op’s future.

Paul Sukut spoke to the Basin annual meeting in Bismarck. His comments come after a year when Basin had to cut 21 percent of its work force. The co-op had some problems with a new urea fertilizer facility at the Dakota Gasification Plant.  But he told the membership that situation has turned around.

"Guys, I'm excited about our future," Sukut told the co-op's members. "We got this."

Early flu season hitting Benson, Ramsey counties

Nov 7, 2018

Health officials are calling this year's flu season "early," with 223 lab confirmed cases of influenza already recorded.

Jill Baber is an epidemiologist with the North Dakota Department of Health. She says most of this fall's flu cases have centered around Benson and Ramsey counties, but it's now showing up in other counties statewide. She says children are being affected the most, with 89 of those confirmed cases being identified in kids under the age of ten.

UPS opens Fargo gateway

Nov 6, 2018
T.McDonald / Prairie Public

Ribbon cutting ceremonies were held Monday for the newest tennant at Fargo's Hector International airport. Prairie Public reporter Todd McDonald has details...

Early voting becoming more popular in ND

Nov 6, 2018

Many North Dakotans voted early in this mid-term election.

As of mid-afternoon Monday, the Secretary of State's office reported 144,774 people had voted absentee or used early voting precincts. That compared with 134,804 in 2016, and 136,685 in 2012.

"People casting ballots before election day -- we've done a brisk business," said Burleigh County Auditor Kevin Glatt.

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