Politics & Government

Cutting gasoline taxes?

Jan 16, 2013

A state lawmaker is proposing cutting North Dakota's gasoline tax in half.

The current tax is 23 cents a gallon. Rep. Lawrence Klemin (R-Bismarck) would cut that to 11 cents.

"The idea is to get some kind of immediate tax relief back to the taxpayer, rather than having to wait until they get the tax bill on their home, or they pay their income taxes," said Klemin. “This would be effective every day. And I don't know how many hundreds of thousands of vehicles there are in North Dakota, but virtually everyone would have some benefit immediately through this bill.”

Tougher DUI laws may be on the way in ND

Jan 14, 2013

Several legislators are proposing making drunk driving laws tougher.

Rep.resentative Ed Gruchalla (D-Fargo) says his DUI bill is ready to be introduced.

Under his bill, the first offense would carry a $5000fine. Gruchalla says half of that would be refunded – if the driver puts in an ignition interlock device in the car. That device would prevent the car from starting – if the driver is drunk.

VandeWalle asks for three new judges

Jan 10, 2013

North Dakota Supreme Court Chief Justice Gerald VandeWalle is making a plea for three more district judges.

Vandewalle told the Legislature – in his State of the Judiciary Address – the northwest part of North Dakota needs two more judgeships, and Cass County would get the third.

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.