Politics & Government

Rep. Kenton Onstad on "Legislative Review"

Feb 15, 2013

Money going out to rural water projects

Feb 14, 2013

It is the second “fast-tracked” spending bill of the session.

The state Senate overwhelmingly approved a bill to appropraite money for some rural water projects, Under it, $10 million will go to three projects – Stutsman County rural water, the North Central rural water consortium and the McLean-Sheridan rural water project. Another $21 million would go to the Southwest Pipeline project.

Fast tracking the bill means bids can be opened soon – and construction could start this spring.

Money going out to rural water projects

Feb 14, 2013

It is the second “fast-tracked” spending bill of the session.

The state Senate overwhelmingly approved a bill to appropraite money for some rural water projects, Under it, $10 million will go to three projects – Stutsman County rural water, the North Central rural water consortium and the McLean-Sheridan rural water project. Another $21 million would go to the Southwest Pipeline project.

Fast tracking the bill means bids can be opened soon – and construction could start this spring.

House passes bottle rocket sale bill

Feb 14, 2013

The House has voted to remove a ban on the sale of bottle rockets.

In 2007, the Legislature banned the sale of bottle rockets. It was still legal to possess those fireworks.

"Practically speaking, this law is pretty silly," said Rep. Rick Becker (R-Bismarck). "If you believe in the nanny state, vote red on this bill. But if you believe in freedom, even a small freedom like this, vote green."

Bujt opponents say there are good reasons to try and control the number of bottle rockets.

Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

A House committee is considering a state Constitutional measure to end a statewide property tax levy for the UND Medical School.

One mill is levied statewide.

The sponsor of the amendment – Rep. Wes Belter (R-Fargo) – says that one mill raises about $2.5 million a year for the med school.

A House committee is also looking at a state Constitutional amendment that would take the names and missions of the state’s public colleges out of the state Constitution.

Eight of the 11 colleges are in the Constitution.

The measure’s author – Rep. Mark Dosch (R-Bismarck)– told the House Judiciary Committee his intent is to clean up the Constitution – because the language surrounding the colleges is obsolete.

Voter ID amendment causes dust-up in the ND House

Feb 13, 2013

The House voted to make a wholesale change in a voting bill – to require people who show up to vote to have a picture ID.

It was approved as a so-called “hog house” amendment to a bill that would change residency requirements for voting in a precinct. The bill as now written would require an ID – and would scrap the option that a voter without an ID could sign an affidavit affirming residency – and be allowed to vote that way.

It came out of the House Government and Veterans Affairs Committee.

ND House, Senate differ on state employee pay package

Feb 12, 2013

The House Majority Leader says his caucus has some concerns about a new state employee pay package.

The Senate approved the package – which was originally proposed by Governor Dalrymple. It includes money to bring some state employees’ pay up to what the market pays for similar jobs.

House Majority Leader Al Carlson (R-Farg) says that raises concerns.

Anti-abortion statute passes State Senate

Feb 8, 2013

The state Senate has passed a bill that supporters say will provide more protection for women who seek abortions – but opponents say it’s designed solely to close North Dakota’s lone abortion clinic.

The measure would require doctors who perform abortions to have admitting privileges to local hospitals.

'Personhood" amendment passes State Senate

Feb 7, 2013

The North Dakota Senate has passed a state Constitutional amendment – that declares life begins at conception.

It’s been dubbed the “Personhood” amendment.

“This amendment is intended to present a direct challenge to Roe v. Wade,”  said the prime sponsor, State Sen.Margaret Sitte (R-Bismarck). “By passage of this amendment, the people of North Dakota are asking government to recognize what science already defined.”

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