By Carrie Levine

The Center for Public Integrity

  FORT YATES, North Dakota — Two years ago, when Chase Iron Eyes decided to run for Congress, he knew he had, as he puts it, “a snowball’s chance in hell” of winning.

But Iron Eyes, a member of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, still saw the narrowest of paths to victory in the race for North Dakota’s sole congressional seat. If he and the two other Native American candidates running for state offices as Democratic nominees were able to boost Native American voter turnout while simultaneously convincing independent-minded undecided voters to break their way, he explained, he thought he might win.


The 2019 Legislature will likely consider creating a “skilled workforce scholarship program.”

It would be similar to the “Build Dakota” program created in South Dakota.

Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

The Public Service Commission has dismissed a complaint filed against an oil refinery project planned for Belfield.

The complaint was filed by environmental groups and individuals concerned about how close the proposed Davis Refinery would be to the Theodore Roosevelt National Park.

The PSC accepted the ruling of an administrative law judge

Meridian Energy proposes a refinery that would process 49,500 barrels of oil every day. But state law says the PSC does not get involved in siting refineries unless it would process over 50,000 barrels a day.

Two hundred 24 of 296 state employees who applied for the “Voluntary Separation Plan” have been accepted.

This is the second year of that volunteer program.

The state employees who were accepted had two options.

"The first option was for the worker to receive three months of wages and the cost of health insurance paid out in a lump sum," said Human Resource Management Services interim director Becky Sicble. "The second option keeps them 'on the payroll' for three months after they separate, so they get paid the same as if they were coming to work, but they're not."

ND Association of Counties opposes Measure 3

Oct 10, 2018

The North Dakota Association of Counties is opposing Measure 3 – the measure that would legalize recreational marijuana.

Association executive director Terry Traynor said the group took that step at its convention this week in Bismarck.

"We don't think North Dakota is ready (for recreational marijuana)," Traynor said in an interview.

Traynor said the measure is flawed.

North Dakota school superintendent Kirsten Baesler says she has a goal – to make sure no North Dakota student enters college needing remedial courses.

"We have an 89.7 percent graduation rate," Baesler said. "But we have a remediation rate of about 27 percent."

Baesler wants to accomplish this within 5 years.

Opposition to Measure 3 claims serious consequences

Oct 9, 2018

A North Dakota based coalition against the passage of Measure 3 says other states that have legalized recreational marijuana are seeing negative consequences.

Prairie Public's Danielle Webster has the story.

ND Racing Commission

The North Dakota Racing Commission had a study done of horse racing’s impact on the state’s economy.

The study was done for the Commission by NDSU.

"It showed the industry provides a $24 million economic impact every year," said Racing Commission Executive Director Gunner LaCour.

LaCour said while $24 million may not be that big a number, it’s pretty good for the horse industry.

Measure 3 proponents say "Educate yourself."

Oct 8, 2018

With less than one month to go before Election Day, organizers of ballot measure number three say it’s “full speed ahead” but there is still work to accomplish… Prairie Public reporter Todd McDonald has details…

The state Employee Compensation Commission is recommending state workers receive what amounts to two percent pay raises in each year of the 2019-2021 biennium.

State budget director Joe Morrissette chairs that Commission. He said the recommendation is to hand out the raises based on performance.

"It would be in a range of one to three percent to each employee, based on actual performance," Morrissette said in an interview.

In addition, one percent would be added in the first year to address compression issues.