Politics & Government

State of State address

Jan 8, 2013

The North Dakota Senate Majority and Minority Leaders agree on the need for property tax cuts and allowing oil producing counties to keep more of the oil taxes generated by drilling and production.

Senate Majority Leader Rich Wardner (R-Dickinson) says property tax relief will be a big issue in this year’s Legislative session. Wardner says the current plan – where the state is funding 70 percent of the cost of local schools, which requires the school districts to lower their mill levies, has helped keep property taxes down.

Echoes of 1997?

Jan 4, 2013

Former North Dakota Congressman Earl Pomeroy says he can relate to the anger and frustration felt by New York and New Jersey members of Congress – over the delay in Congressional action on Hurricane Sandy relief.

House speaker John Boehner canceled a vote on a $60-billion aid package. That vote was supposed to happen right after the “fiscal cliff” bill was passed.

Cramer: 'I welcome a discussion on guns and violence'

Dec 26, 2012

Congressman-elect Kevin Cramer (R-ND) says he hopes there will be a calm and rational discussion on ways to help prevent gun violence.

Cramer says he is a Second Amendment supporter, and he is not in favor of gun control. But he says he realizes there is a national appetite for a discussion on the issue.

"As soon as we go down that path, we are treading on issues of liberty, of security, of personal identity and privacy matters," said Cramer. "To balance those issues will be a huge challenge."

Names forwarded for Higher Education board positions

Dec 21, 2012

A committee has recommended names for appointment to the state Board of Higher Education.

Three names were chosen for each of two openings on the Board. Kathleen Neset of Tioga holds one of the board seats. Her name – along with retired Fargo school superintendent Rick Buresh and Dickinson business owner Kristin Hedger – were the names forwarded for her position. Kari Reichert (ry-kurt) of Bismarck has the other position. Her name was forwarded – along with Mayville attorney William Brudvik and Devils Lake school Superintendent Steve Swiontek.

Tightening petition fraud laws

Dec 19, 2012

Secretary of State Al Jaeger says he and Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem are looking at possible legislation to strengthen the penalties for petition fraud.

Two initiatives – dealing with conservation and medical marijuana – were thrown out, after it was discovered that some of the circulators forged signatures. Several circulators -- including some members of the North Dakota State University football team -- were charged. All pleaded guilty to the misdemeanor offense.

A newly elected state Senator from Fargo says he will be introducing legislation to end the sales tax on clothing.

"I've got the bill drafted," said Sen. George Sinner (D-Fargo). "I'm working with some people, business people in Fargo, people on both sides of the political aisle. I think it is something that will gain some traction as we go."

Minnesota does not have a sales tax on clothing.

Gov. Dalrymple budget speech

Dec 5, 2012

Gov. Jack Dalrymple (R-ND) gives his biennial budget address to the Legislature's organizational session Wednesday in Bismarck.

Hear the complete speech here.

Schneider elected Senate Minority Leader

Dec 3, 2012

North Dakota Senate Democrats have picked their leadership team for the 2013 Legsilature.

Sen. Mac Schneider (D-Grand Forks) will be the new Minoity Leader. He replaces Ryan Taylor, who was an unsuccessful candidate for Governor, and leaves the state Senate.  Schneider was unopposed for the floor leader job.

Schneider says Democrats may be in the minority – but they need to speak out on issues and ideas.

Heidi's 'victory lap'

Nov 9, 2012
Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

Democrat Heidi Heitkamp overcame the odds – and the pre-election polls – to win the election for the US Senate.

The margin was razor thin. She defeated Republican Congressman Rick Berg by less than one percentage point. Heitkamp took a “victory lap” around North Dakota Thursday – to thank her supporters.

Several hundred people welcomed Heitkamp to the labor temple in Bismarck, as the tired and hoarse US Senator-elect finished a four-stop victory tour. They chanted "Heidi, Heidi" as Heitkamp entered the room.

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