John Hageman covers North Dakota politics from the Forum News Service bureau in Bismarck. He attended the University of Minnesota in the Twin Cities, where he studied journalism and political science, and he previously worked at the Grand Forks Herald and Bemidji Pioneer.
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BISMARCK — North Dakota voters will decide whether to amend the state's laws and constitution on four separate measures this fall. The measures range from legalizing recreational marijuana to allowing volunteer emergency responders to apply for red personalized vehicle plates. Voters will also choose whether to establish a state ethics commission to investigate politician malfeasance and to make it clear that only U.S. citizens can vote in North Dakota elections.
BISMARCK — A North Dakota lawmaker warned the state's $5.5 billion Legacy Fund could be targeted through the initiated measure process and called for setting a "precedent" for the growing pot of money Thursday, Aug. 16. Republican state Sen. David Hogue of Minot backs an idea to use a slice of the Legacy Fund, including its principal, for a loan program to help finance local infrastructure projects. He said it has become "incredibly easy" for groups to amend the state's constitution, including with out-of-state money, making the fund vulnerable.
BISMARCK — North Dakota Democratic Sen. Heidi Heitkamp said she didn't come away from her meeting with Judge Brett Kavanaugh Wednesday, Aug. 15, with enough information to say whether she'll support his nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court. In an interview late Wednesday afternoon, Heitkamp said they had a "wide-ranging" and "high-level" discussion that lasted about an hour at her office in Washington, D.C. But she'll watch his confirmation hearings in September before making a final call. "I think that's the true job interview," she said.
BISMARCK — The race for North Dakota secretary of state may become more crowded with a former lieutenant governor candidate launching an independent run Tuesday, Aug. 14. Secretary of State Al Jaeger's office confirmed Wednesday that Michael Coachman submitted signatures in an attempt to appear on the November ballot. The office is now tasked with determining whether he gathered 1,000 valid signatures.
BISMARCK — U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross will visit North Dakota next week amid some worry over President Donald Trump's trade strategy. Ross will be joined by Stephen Censky, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's deputy secretary, Republican Rep. Kevin Cramer announced Tuesday, Aug. 14. They'll be in Fargo next Thursday, but further details weren't included in a media advisory.
BISMARCK — A federal appeals court said Tuesday, Aug. 14, the state of Minnesota owes North Dakota $1.3 million in attorney fees after losing a lawsuit over its clean energy law. Minnesota's appeal over the attorney fees came after North Dakota's successful fight against its eastern neighbor's law, dubbed the Next Generation Energy Act. North Dakota argued the law violated the U.S. Constitution's commerce clause by restricting electricity imports that would increase carbon dioxide emissions.
BISMARCK — A retired farmer from Max, N.D., hopes voters will send a "thank-you note" to volunteer emergency responders by passing his ballot measure allowing them to apply for red personalized vehicle plates. Secretary of State Al Jaeger said Monday, Aug. 13, that the effort led by Norval Semchenko garnered 15,039 valid signatures, about 1,600 more than needed to appear on the Nov. 6 ballot.
BISMARCK — North Dakotans will decide whether to legalize recreational marijuana this fall, two years after voters approved the drug’s medical use. Secretary of State Al Jaeger said Monday, Aug. 13, the group pushing a ballot measure submitted 14,637 valid signatures last month, about 1,200 more than it needed to appear on the Nov. 6 ballot.
BISMARCK — North Dakota Democratic Sen. Heidi Heitkamp didn't offer a definite answer on whether she'd support President Donald Trump's $5 billion request for a wall on the U.S. border with Mexico this week as her Republican challenger, Rep. Kevin Cramer, called it a "no-brainer." In a statement to the conservative online media outlet Breitbart published Thursday, Aug. 9, and later provided to Forum News Service, Heitkamp said "the devil is always in the details," adding that there's some uncertainty over the composition of the larger funding bill.
BISMARCK — North Dakota Democrats are rallying behind popular provisions of the Affordable Care Act as a key election year issue after years of being pummeled by Republicans over the Obama-era health care law.