Politics & Government

Courtesy ND Legislature

A series of bills introduced after the Dakota Access Pipeline protests are before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

And the chairman of that committee said he will likely work to make some changes to them.

The bills deal with trespassing, property damage, rioting and protestors who wear masks to cover their faces.

Sen. Kelly Armstrong (R-Dickinson) said the bills are "a good start" to help deal with such situations.

House rejects dental therapist bill

Feb 9, 2017

The House has rejected a bill to allow trained dental therapists to do some of the work of a dentist – especially in areas where there’s a shortage of dentists.

Supporters say there’s a shortage on the reservations, as well as for some Medicare patients.

"I talk to people in the reservation in my district," Rep. Bill Devlin (R-Finley), the measure's sponsor, told the House. "Their dental care is the emergency room."

Devlin said something has to be done to reach the children that aren't being reached now by dentists.

The state Senate has rejected a bill that originally would have required drug testing for some recipients of the temporary assistance for needy families program.

The Senate first amended the bill, so that drug testing would only apply to those people entering the workforce after being on “TANF.”

Medical marijuana supporters are not happy with a bill that essentially re-writes the initiated measure passed by voters in November.

Legislative leaders had said the wording of that measure did not conform to North Dakota law – and changes were needed to bring it into compliance. They first passed a bill to delay the implementation until a new set of regulations could be drafted.

"On (January) 16th, it was portrayed as a housekeeping measure," said Anita Morgan of Fargo, one of the sponsors of the initiated measure. "I think it has turned into an estate sale."

Not the time to change the time?

Feb 8, 2017

A bill whose time has not yet come?

The state Senate took little time in defeating a measure that would have made two changes in how North Dakotans tell time. One – it would have put the whole state in one time zone – Central – instead of having some southweatern North Dakota counties on Mountain time. Secondly, it would have ended Daylight Savings Time for North Dakotans.

'Common Core' prohibition bill fails in ND House

Feb 8, 2017

Another bill to end the so-called “common core” educational standards has failed in the North Dakota House.

The bill would have prohibited North Dakota from keeping the Common Core standards – and adopting new standards that mirrored Common Core. It would also force the state to adopt Massachusetts standards from the early 2000s until the state could write its own. And the bill would also take away the power of the Superintendent of Public Instruction to approve the new standards.

Are you ready for some….six man football?

That’s one of the aims of a resolution now before a North Dakota House Committee. It asks the North Dakota State High School Activities Association to create a third tier for boys’ and girls’ basketball, renaming the tiers AAA , AA and A. It also suggests allowing six-man football for smaller schools.

Refugee Debate Hits North Dakota Capitol

Feb 3, 2017

While the debate over refugees re-emerges in the national spotlight, it’s also a hot topic right now in the North Dakota Legislature.

Some lawmakers and local officials want greater say over the refugees that settle here.

Rep. Christopher Olson, R-West Fargo, testified Friday to the House Government and Veterans Affairs Committee.

Rally For ND's Immigrant Population Draws Hundreds

Feb 3, 2017

People by the hundreds filled the lobby of the Fargo Civic Center Thursday afternoon to speak out against House Bill 14-27 and support the states resettled refugee population. Reporter Todd McDonald has details...

Legislative committee looking at Voter ID law tweaks

Jan 27, 2017
Courtesy ND Legislature

The Legislature will be considering some changes to North Dakota’s “Voter ID” laws that supporters say should be acceptable to the courts.

A federal judge struck down the law – saying it created an undue burden for Native Americans.

The old law used to allow a “voter affidavit” for any voter who didn’t have an ID. That part of the law was removed in the 2013 Session. But because Judge Daniel Hovland said North Dakota didn’t have a “fail safe” way to let individuals without ID vote, the state allowed the affidavits in 2016.