Politics & Government

Holmberg: Time for a new license plate

Feb 4, 2013

A Grand Forks lawmaker says it's time for a new state license plate.

"The last general issue we had in North Dakota was in 1991," said Sen. Ray Holmberg (R-Grand Forks). "So the plates are up to 21, 22 years old."

Holmberg says the older plates are becoming unreadable. And he says there is now technology for license plates.

"The new plates are flat, and they are a material that is much more reflective than we have now," said Holmberg. "It's good for everyone to have a license plate that can be read."

The President of the Board of Higher Education says there’s a lot of misinformation circulating about the new information technology building being built at UND.

The Legislature approved that building to consolidate I-T serves system-wide. But a report surfaced that part of the building would be used for an office for the Chancellor of the University System, as well as a board room, a reception area and a kitchenette. And lawmakers are raising questions.

A number of bills to limit or eliminate abortion rights in North Dakota have been introduced this legislative session.

One would be a proposed amendment to the state Constitution. It’s been dubbed the “Personhood” amendment – and says life begins at the moment of conception.

"This amendment is intended to present a direct challenge to Roe v. Wade," the sponsor, Sen. Margaret Sitte (R-Bismarck), told the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Oil tax overhaul proposed by Republicans

Jan 29, 2013

State Sen. Dwight Cook (R-Mandan) has introduced a bill that re-structures the state’s oil tax.

Cook’s bill changes the so-called “stripper exemption” for low producing oil wells drilled after July First. It requires oil companies to withhold income taxes from non-resident oil royalty owners. It provides an incentive for companies to drill outside the Bakken and Three Forks formations. And, effective January first, 2017, it permanently lowers the oil tax rate from 11.5 percent to 9.5.

The sponsor of a measure limiting law enforcement use of unmanned aerial vehicles says he’s concerned about privacy rights.

Rep. Rick Becker’s (R-Bismarck) bill says law enforcement must get a search warrant – before using the “drones” for surveillance.

"If UAS is to be used for surveillance of private citizens, they need to get a search warrant to use the drone," Becker told the House Judiciary Committee. "That's opposed to using the drone to obtain information to get a search warrant. That's a very clear distinction."

Committee considering ending sales tax on clothing

Jan 28, 2013

A state Senate committee is looking at a bill to eliminate the sales tax on clothing purchased in North Dakota.

"The bill would provide tax relief for all North Dakotans, regardless of their financial ability, or prominence in society," said the bill's sponsor, Sen. George Sinner (D-Fargo). "Every single person in North Dakota is required, by law, to wear clothing."

Sinner told the Senate Finance and Taxation Committee – because Minnesota and Montana do not tax clothing, many shoppers leave the state to buy those items.

Sen. Mac Schneider on "Legislative Review"

Jan 28, 2013

Rep. Al Carlson on "Legislative Review"

Jan 28, 2013

Rep. Al Carlson (R-Fargo) on "Legislative Review" -- aired 1/18/13

'Fast track' for highway funding on-track

Jan 23, 2013

House and Senate budget writers are moving quickly to get money in the hands of the state Department of Transportation – to get an early start on the 2013 road construction season.

If passed by both houses, it would get $600-million to the DOT immediately  – and DOT could then start bidding projects. Interim state Transportation Director Grant Levi says it’s better to get going now, rather than wait until normal appropriation bills take effect in July.