Politics & Government | Prairie Public Broadcasting

Politics & Government

PSC mulling lawsuit response

Jun 21, 2012

The Public Service Commission is working on its response to two lawsuits brought by environmental groups. More from Prairie Public's Dave Thompson.

The Dakota Resource Council has sued Commission members – saying those elected commissioners should be disqualified from regulating companies from which they have taken campaign contributions. The DRC and Sierra Club have also sued Interior Secretary Ken Salazar to force the feds to take over North Dakota’s coal reclamation program, for the same reason.

Administrative law judge tapped for PSC

Jun 21, 2012

An administrative law judge has been named to the North Dakota Public Service Commission. As Prairie Public's Dave Thompson reports, Gov. Jack Dalrymple appointed Bonny Fetch to serve out the rest of Tony Clark’s term.

Clark resigned last week to join the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. Clark was up for re-election this year, but decided not to seek another term.

Fetch has been a state employee for 40 years, and has been with the Office of Administrative Hearings since it was established in 1991. Fetch says she has been an ALJ for several PSC cases.

The Legislature’s Budget Section has given Secretary of  State Al Jaeger the go-ahead to hire three more people – to help keep up with the workload in his office. That story from Prairie Public’s Dave Thompson.

Because of the state’s robust economy – and the oil boom – business registrations have dramatically increased. Jaeger says to catch up with the processing, he cut back on the number of hours the office would be open to the general public to six hours a day. And some Budget Section members questioned that decision.

How Norway saves oil tax revenues

Jun 18, 2012

North Dakota is setting aside some of its oil tax collections into a fund for the future.

It’s called the “Legacy fund.” Thirty percent of oil tax collections go into that fund. It cannot be touched until 2017, when interest income on the fund could be spent by two-thirds vote of each hose of the North Dakota Legislature.

The country of Norway has a fund for the future as well. As Prairie Public’s Dave Thompson reports, the Norwegian fund is set up differently.

Mr. Clark goes to Washington

Jun 15, 2012
Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

Effective today (6-15-12), North Dakota has a seat on the five-member Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

As Prairie Public’s Dave Thompson reports, Public Service Commissioner Tony Clark says goodbye to North Dakota– and hello to Washington, DC.

PSC: No authority over electric service to casino

Jun 15, 2012

The Public Service Commission has dismissed a complaint by North Central Electric Cooperative against Otter Tail Power Company. As Prairie Public's Dave Thompson reports, the PSC says it doesn’t have jurisdiction.

The issue in question is service to a casino complex in Belcourt. It’s on trust land in the TurtleMountainreservation. The tribal government signed a 10-year contract with Otter Tail to provide power to the Sky Dancer Hotel and Casino. North Central Cooperative had served the original casino building.

Secretary of State to get more help

Jun 13, 2012

The state’s Emergency Commission has given Secretary of State Al Jaeger the go-ahead to hire three more staffers. As Prairie Public's Dave Thompson reports, the Commission gave permission to keep up with the increasing workload.

The Secretary of State deals with corporate and contractor registrations. The office is only open to the public six hours a day – because Jaeger says the staff needs time to catch up.

State Senate Appropriations Committee chairman Ray Holmberg (R-Grand Forks) is a member of the Emergency Commission. He voted “yes” – but cautioned Jaeger.

Interim committee talks property taxes

May 30, 2012

An interim Legislative committee is looking at a bill to provide further property tax relief for homeowners. Prairie Public's Dave Thompson reports.

John Walstad is an attorney for the Legislative Council. He told the interim Taxation committee the relief would come through a formula similar to the Homestead property tax exemption – and it would exempt up to the first 75-thousand dollars of the assessed valuation of the residence.

Looking Back At A Legislative Career

May 29, 2012
State of Minnesota

When Minnesota lawmakers go back to Saint Paul in 2013, Glyndon state Senator Keith Langseth will no longer be the most senior member of the legislature... Prairie Public reporter Todd McDonald has this story...


A "Capitol" apology

May 24, 2012
Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

A Minnesota lawmaker came to the North Dakota state Capitol in Bismarck– with apologies about a remark a colleague made about the Capitol.

The story from Prairie Public’s Dave Thompson.