Politics & Government

Meg Kelly/NPR

Stacey Abrams, who narrowly lost the Georgia governor's race in November, is delivering the Democrats' response to President Trump's State of the Union address. Reporters across the NPR newsroom are annotating her remarks, adding context and analysis.

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Annette Elizabeth Allen/NPR

President Trump is delivering his State of the Union address, which the White House says will outline a "policy agenda both parties can rally behind." Yet the speech follows the longest shutdown in U.S. history, and the deadline to avoid another one is in less than two weeks. NPR reporters covering the White House, Congress, immigration, national security and more are annotating his remarks live, adding context and analysis. 

Liam James Doyle/NPR

President Trump is delivering a State of the Union address after a delay due to the government shutdown. Watch his speech live, beginning at 8:00pm CT, followed by a Democratic response delivered by former Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams. 

Bismarck lawmaker reviving a 'guns in schools' bill

Dec 21, 2018

A Bismarck lawmaker is reviving a bill to allow designated personnel to carry weapons in school.

Rep. Pat Heinert (R-Bismarck) said the bill would be optional, and it aimed at smaller schools who do not have "Student Resource Officers."

"This would leave the opportunity available in state law for a school district to do this," Heinert said. "There are no mandates."

Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

The Public Service Commission is asking the courts to make it the trustee in an insolvency case for a roving grain buyer and grain warehouse license holder.

Hunter Hanson has a roving grain buyer business, as Midwest Grain Trading of Devils Lake, as well as two elevators at Tunbridge and Rohrville. The PSC began the action after receiving complaints from producers.

The PSC has filed actions in both Burleigh County District Court and the Pierce County District Court to be named as trustee.

ND Water Commission

In the state Water Commission budget, there is a $75 million line of credit to build a water treatment plant for the Northwest Area Water Supply System.

NAWS will take water from Lake Sakakawea to Minot and other areas of northwestern North Dakota.

State Water Commission engineer Garland Erbele said the plant is to be built at Max.

"That plant will be owned by the (Federal) Bureau of Reclamation," Erbele said. "They will reimburse us for the construction costs, but we have to 'upfront' the money."

'Operation Prairie Dog" will start in the House

Dec 19, 2018

“Operation Prairie Dog” will start in the House.

That’s the bill to provide a new revenue source for local infrastructure projects across the state. It will create a new “bucket” for oil tax money.

It was the brainchild of a number of Republican legislators, led by Senate Majority Leader Rich Wardner (R-Dickinson). But Wardner said the House will get the first look at the proposal.

"I know there's probably more people that have concerns about it over in the House," Wardner said. "They're probably going to be using the first half to work on it."

AARP outlines Legislative priorities

Dec 17, 2018
AARP

AARP North Dakota is outlining its priorities for the 2019 Legislative session.

One big issue is taxation of Social Security benefits. North Dakota is one of only 13 states that tax Social Security benefits. And the state is one of four states that tax it at the full level the federal government does.

"We think the state should take a look at repealing that Social Security tax," said AARP state director Josh Askvig.

Askvig said this could help folks who are receiving a modest amount of Social Security benefits.

(Note: Story will be updated with action of the Board of Higher Education.)

The University of North Dakota wants to see if it can tap into a “revolving loan fund” set up for cities, counties and other political subdivisions to help pay for roads, curbs, gutters and similar improvements.

That loan fund is through the Bank of North Dakota.

"Of course, universities are not political subdivisions," UND Vice-President for Finance and Operations Jed Shivers told a subcommittee of the Board of Higher Education.

'Operation Prairie Dog' in motion at the Capitol

Dec 6, 2018

“Operation Prairie Dog” is underway.

That’s the nickname for a proposal to create new “buckets” for oil tax money to fund infrastructure projects outside of the oil patch. It would affect cities, counties, airports and townships.

The bill has been now introduced in the House.

"We wanted to start in the House for a couple of different reasons," said the bill's main sponsor, Rep. Mike Nathe (R-Bismarck). "We think it might be the heavier lift of the two chambers, just because we have a bigger body (than the Senate)."

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