Politics & Government | Prairie Public Broadcasting

Politics & Government

Only Libertarian on ND's primary ballot wants a recount

Jul 31, 2018

A Grand Forks man who ran for Secretary of State in the June primary as a Libertarian is asking the North Dakota Supreme Court to order a recount in his race.

Roland Riemers was the only Libertarian on the ballot. State law says a party needs 300 votes in the primary to have its own column on the general election ballot.

"I lost by 53 votes," Riemers told the Court. "I'm not only off the general election ballot, but it loses us our status as the Libertarian Party for the next two years."

The North Dakota Supreme Court has ruled Go. Doug Burgum issued improper line-item vetoes in four of five cases.

But the high court also ruled that the Legislature cannot delegate spending power to its Budget Section.

A Minot REpublican state senator is skeptical about the new GOP leadership infrastructure plan.

That plan – rolled out last week – creates three new “buckets” -- $115 million for cities, $115 million for counties and townships, and $50 million for airports. The money would come from oil tax collections.

"What was rolled out was sort of a 'Here's some money for you -- you're not asking for it or applying for it, we're just going to give it to you,'" said sen. David Hogue (R-Minot). "I have a hard time with that."

The North Dakota House Democratic leader said he’s taking a deep dive into the GOP Leadership plan for funding infrastructure development statewide.

The Republican leaders are proposing three new “buckets” for funding from oil taxes. $115 million would go toward cities’ infrastructure needs, $115 million would go for counties and townships, and $50 million would be set aside for airports.

Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

Republican Legislative leaders have rolled out an “infrastructure” plan for the 2019 Legislature.

The plan affects the entire state, not just the Oil Patch.

"We want our state to grow," said Senate Majority Leader Rich Wardner (R-Dickinson) at a Bismarck news conference. "We need to meet the needs of infrastructure across the state."

The proposal creates three new “buckets” funded through oil taxes: a $115 million county/township infrastructure fund; a $115 million municipal infrastructure fund; and a $50 million airport fund.

Human sex trafficking discussed at U-Mary

Jul 25, 2018
Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

Members of the Bismarck-Mandan area pastoral community were at the University of Mary (July 24) to talk about Human and Sex Trafficking.

"A lot of people don't realize human trafficking is happening right here in our state," said U-Mary director of the Demand Reduction Program Stacy Schaffer. "And they don't know what to do."

Schaffer said it is very important that individuals are educated, and given tools to allow them to teach their congregations and other people within their communities.

'Ethics measure' will be on the Nov. ballot in ND

Jul 25, 2018

The “North Dakota Anti-Corruption” Constitutional amendment will be on the November ballot.

Secretary of State Al Jaeger has certified the measure. The group “North Dakotans for Public Integrity” needed 26,904 valid signatures to get the measure on the ballot. Jaeger accepted 36,849 signatures as valid.

"We are now in the process of developing strategies to make sure voters throughout the state are well aware of this measure," said group vice-president Ellen Chaffee. "It's a great opportunity to inject some common sense accountability in how state government operates."

The president of the North Dakota Council of College Faculties has been named to Gov. Doug Burgum’s Task Force for Higher Education Governance.

Dr. Debora Dragseth of Dickinson State University will replace Bismarck State College Institutional Research Analyst Dr. Ellie Shockley. Shockley recently changed jobs, causing a conflict of interest. Dragseth becomes the voting member, while Shockley will remain on the Task Force in a non-voting capacity.

Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

A number of North Dakota state agencies have asked for extensions on submitting their proposed budgets to the Office of Management and Budget for the 2019-2021 biennium.

"More than normal, I would say," OMB director Joe Morrissette told the Legislature's Budget Section.

Morrissette said part of the reason for the extensions is the extra “strategy review” sessions OMB has had with the agencies.