Politics & Government | Prairie Public Broadcasting

Politics & Government

Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

Two Democratic NPL statewide candidates say the state of North Dakota needs to up its game when it comes to information technology.

They say, for example, businesses that have to file registration information with the Secretary of State’s office, or tax information with the state Tax Department are often frustrated with the difficulty in doing that, given the current IT platforms.

Tax Commissioner candidate Kylie Overson told Bismarck reporters she’s been talking with Secretary of State candidate Joshua Boschee about creating a “Hub.”

Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

The chairman of the North Dakota Public Service Commission said for the PSC to follow Gov. Doug Burgum’s request to find another 10 percent to cut from the PSC budget was a daunting task.

Randy Christmann said much of what the Commission does has a federal funding component to it. So he says if you took those things off the cutting table, there isn’t much “wiggle room.” So Christmann said the Commission made a very tough decision – it has recommended the elimination of the Commission’s grain licensing program.

Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

Legislators on an interim committee overseeing the implementation of the Medical Marijuana law say they’re hearing frustration from their constituents about how long the process has been taking.

But the head of the State Health Department’s Medical Marijuana division said other states have experienced this kind of time lag from when the measure was passed to when the product becomes available.

Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

The American Conservative Union held an infrastructure forum in Bismarck Monday.

The special guest: Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao.  She talked about a number of subjects, including the recent rollback of the Obama-area fuel efficiency standards. Chao told the audience her department and the Environmental Protection Agency will be working on new fuel standards. Chao said the new proposal includes eight options.

ITD working on consolidation plans

Aug 6, 2018

North Dakota’s information technology department is continuing to work toward consolidation of IT services under one umbrella department.

State Chief Information Officer Shawn Riley calls it a work in progress. Riley said his agency is doing a “deep data collection” on IT – who in what state agency is working in IT, what they do and what systems they have.

OMB director: Strategy review meetings successful

Aug 6, 2018

The director of the state’s Office of Management and Budget said OMB has finished a series of “strategy review” meetings with executive branch agencies.

Joe Morrissette said it was no small feat, as agencies met with OMB as they were working on their budget proposals for inclusion in the Gov. Doug Burgum’s executive budget for the 2019 session.

Morrissette called the meetings were very positive, and agencies came with a lot of good ideas.

Riemers gets a recount

Aug 3, 2018

A Grand Forks man who ran in the primary for Secretary of State as a Libertarian will get his recount.

The North Dakota Supreme Court made that decision in an opinion issued Friday.

'Trump Unity Bridge' stops in Bismarck

Aug 3, 2018

A man and his son from Livonia, Michigan are travelling the country with a float he calls the “Trump Unity Bridge.”

Rob Cortis called it his “4-48” tour, to visit the “four corners of the continental United States and the lower 48" states. He stopped in Bismarck, and is on his way to Sturgis for the motorcycle rally.

Cortis said he and his son built the display, which is festooned with Trump slogans, such as “Make America Great Again,” and flags. He used a real metal walking bridge.

North Dakota Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring said he's happy all three members of North Dakota’s Congressional delegation will be involved with the negotiations over a new farm bill.

"I don't know if it has happened in history that our entire North Dakota delegation will be serving in some capacity as conferees," Goehring said. "It's gonna be good."

Goehring said teh delegation brings a lot of knowledge to the table, as well as a perspective from a farm state.

"It covers a lot of things," Goehring said.

Preliminary state budget forecast due in August

Jul 31, 2018

A new state revenue forecast will be released in August.

"We call it our preliminary forecast, because it's our first look at the next biennium," said Office of Management and Budget director Joe Morrissette. "We'll use it as a basis to prepare the executive budget."

Morrissette said OMB has been working with Moody’s Analytics, and recently convened a revenue advisory group to look at Moody’s numbers. He said the advisory group didn’t make many changes to Moody's numbers.

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