News

North Dakota's Public Employees Retirement System is looking toward the future -- and some potential funding challenges.

"We're currently funded at about 70 percent," said PERS acting executive director Sharon Schermeister. "Our goal is to be at 100 percent."

Schermeister said to get there, PERS has come up with some options. One of them would be to implement the fourth part of a recovery plan, begun in 2011, after PERS went through some challenges in its investments.

Gov. Burgum 'shadows' student at Beulah High School

May 3, 2018

Gov. Doug Burgum participated in the “Shadow a Student” challenge by shadowing a student at Beulah High School Wednesday (5-2-18).

He spent the day shadowing junior Phoebe Garman. Burgum attended classes and talked with students and teachers at Beulah.

Burgum said a big takeaway from his day is that there are dedicated teachers and administrators, trying to do the best job they can in educating students.

ND University System

The chairman of the North Dakota Senate Appropriations Committee says the Legislature has given campuses and the board of Higher Education flexibility in terms of setting out-of-state tuition rates.

At a recent Board meeting, Board chairman Don Morton said he would like the campus presidents to be given more flexibility in setting those rates, based on their campus’ needs.

"The Legislature agreed," said Sen. Ray Holmberg (R-Grand Forks), chairman of Senate Appropriations.

Donnell Preskey / ND Association of Counties

The North Dakota Department of Human Services is working on a “social services redesign project.”

As part of that effort, the Department held a workshop in Bismarck on “Increasing Efficiency and Effectiveness in State Government.” (5/1/18)

The workshop featured Utah Office of Management and Budget Executive Director Kristen Cox.

"Significant improvement is possible," Cox said in an interview with Prairie Public. "Less is more. And tools exist to achieve the ambitions targets that they set."

ND builders see a good year for the industry

May 2, 2018
ND Builders Assoc.

The president of the North Dakota Association of Builders expects 2018 will be a good year for the industry.

"I think things have slowed a bit," said Dan Lindquist of Fargo. "North Dakota, though, is pretty steady."

Lindquist is also with the Fargo-Moorhead Builders’ Association. He said there are some challenges. One is the price of materials, which Lindquist said has been exacerbated by the trade dispute with Canada over “soft lumber.”

'Real ID' rolling out in ND

May 1, 2018

03023 Real ID                                                          5-1-18 ddt

North Dakota’s Department of Transportation has begun issuing “Real ID” at its Bismarck driver’s license office.

"A 'Real ID' is a credential that meets the standards the federal government set," said DOT Driver's License Division director Glenn Jackson. "The credential can be used for boarding aircraft, entry to federal facilities, military installations, things like that."

Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

The Public Service Commission has approved ONEOK’s plans to convert an existing pipeline from natural gas to natural gas liquids.

The 45 mile, 12-inch diameter Cherry Creek pipeline runs from the Lonesome Creek gas plant to the Stateline gas plant. It will carry 50,000 barrels of the natural gas liquids daily.

Commissioner Julie Fedorchak said this will help companies reach their flaring reduction goals. And she said transportation by pipeline is safer than using trucks or rail cars.

"This is pretty volatile stuff," Fedorchak said. "This is the best way to do it."

Advocates for behavioral health treatment and prevention services are hoping a new report will spur investments by the 2019 Legislature.

The report was presented to the Legislature’s interim Human Services Committee.

"The report gives us a roadmap," said Rep. Kathy Hogan (D-Fargo), the chairman of the interim committee. "Now the question will be leadership to implement the roadmap."

Hogan said the report’s first recommendation is to have strong implementation plans.

The chairman of the state Board of Higher Education believes campus presidents should have more flexibility in setting tuition rates for out of state students.

"Out-of-state students are not an expense," said Don Morton. "Out-of-state students are an investment."

Morton said out-of-state students help pay for the fixed – and variable – costs of the institutions, especially the colleges close to the state’s borders.

"The campuses are doing a good job of attracting out of state students," Morton said. "But it could be better."

Fargo's friendly sky

Apr 30, 2018

If you are in the Fargo-Moorhead region you may get a chance to see something you may not see in any other city in the U-S… But as Prairie Public's Todd McDonald reports, you have to be looking at the sky…

Pages