Politics & Government | Prairie Public Broadcasting

Politics & Government


Get the latest on Minnesota's ballot measures and races for governor, Senate and House.

NPR Live Blog

Nov 5, 2018

Follow live coverage of the 2018 midterm elections, including results and analysis from the NPR Politics team. 



Get the latest on North Dakota's ballot measures and races for Senate and House. 

November 4 at 5pm:

Tune in for a rebroadcast of the October 26 debate between ND U.S. Senate candidates Kevin Cramer (R) and Heidi Heitkamp (D) hosted by the North Dakota Broadcasters Association and moderated by Prairie Public's Dave Thompson.

Or listen to it now here.

The issue of “expungement” – that is, erasing the arrest and or conviction of someone who committed a crime – has become an issue in the campaign to legalize recreational marijuana.

The measure would require the expungement of all marijuana-related convictions.

At the same time, a Fargo legislator is working on an expungement bill.

Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

Former district judge Bob Wefald – one of the spokespeople against the measure to legalize recreational marijuana – says he would support legislation to decriminalize possession of small amounts of pot.

State Rep. Shannon Roers-Jones (R-Fargo) recently said she would introduce such a bill, if measure 3 is defeated.

"It would be small amounts of marijuana," Wefald said at a Bismarck news conference. "Not truckloads."

Wefald said he's especially concerned about young people who have experimented with marijuana.

Bill Thomas

NOTE:  We will rebroadcast this on radio November 4th at 5PM Central Time.

The state Board of Higher Education has tabled any decision about granting tenure to college presidents, after the Council of College Faculties raised concerns in a letter to the Board.

Under the proposal, Board policy on tenure would be changed, so that if an out of state candidate for a college presidency is tenured, that could be transferred to the college, with Board approval.

University System Chancellor Mark Hagerott proposed the plan. He said it could be an attraction for out of state candidates for a presidency in North Dakota.

Behavioral health plans moving forward

Oct 22, 2018

The behavioral health division of the North Dakota Department of Human Services has contracted with a firm that developed a report on the status of behavioral health in the state – to help the implementation of a statewide plan.

The group is the “Human Services Research Institute.”

"The action that we need to do to make sure that report becomes more than just a report with recommendations, but actionable steps that we can more forward will continue," said Behavioral Health division director Pam Sagness. "We're excited about that."

First US Senate debate held in Bismarck

Oct 19, 2018
Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

The two candidates for US Senate squared off in their first debate Thursday night.

Incumbent Democrat Heidi Heitkamp and GOP challenger Kevin Cramer participated in an hour-long debate in Bismarck, sponsored by the North Dakota Newspaper Association.

The two covered a number of subjects. On trade – specifically the trade embargoes – Heitkamp said North Dakota farmers are getting hurt by the closing of foreign markets, especially China.