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.
- Member for
- 4 years 4 months
BISMARCK—The North Dakota House easily defeated a bill to create a new income tax credit for businesses that reimburse employees for child care costs Thursday, Jan. 19. Rep. Jeff Delzer, R-Underwood, said legislators were unsure how much the credit would cost. And given tight budgets, he said lawmakers should reject the "well-intentioned" bill.
BISMARCK -- In opening his presentation to a legislative committee Wednesday, Jan. 18, North Dakota State University President Dean Bresciani acknowledged an elephant lurking in the room.
BISMARCK — The head of North Dakota's largest public employee union said Tuesday, Jan. 17 that Gov. Doug Burgum's proposal to have state employees help cover the cost of health insurance premiums may make it harder to recruit and retain workers. Burgum's budget recommendations for the 2017-19 cycle, released Monday night in the form of a news release, included a proposal to have state employees pay 5 percent of their health insurance premiums, saving the state $11 million. Historically, the state has covered all of the employees' premiums.
BISMARCK — A group of North Dakota lawmakers have reintroduced legislation to ban discrimination based on sexual orientation, setting up what could be a replay of one of the more contentious legislative battles from two years ago. State law already prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability and status in regard to marriage or public assistance. House Bill 1386, introduced Monday, Jan. 16, would add sexual orientation to that list.
BISMARCK—Citing sluggish revenue, North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum called for steeper budget cuts than his predecessor Monday, Jan. 16. Burgum, who presented his recommendations to legislative leaders Monday, called for a $13.3 billion total budget in the 2017-19 cycle, about $168 million less than what former Gov. Jack Dalrymple proposed last month in his final executive budget. Burgum proposed $4.62 billion in general fund spending, about $159 million less than the former governor's recommendation.
BISMARCK—North Dakota lawmakers were adamant Monday, Jan. 16, that they were not trying to deny the will of the people with a proposal to delay parts of the recently passed medical marijuana law. The bill, introduced by legislative leadership from both sides of the aisle, would delay certain provisions of the Compassionate Care Act to give the North Dakota Department of Health more time to set up rules governing medical marijuana, said Senate Majority Leader Rich Wardner, R-Dickinson. He pointed to financial and social costs if it's not properly regulated.
BISMARCK — The two Human Services committees of the North Dakota Legislature will convene in a joint meeting to discuss a bill that would suspend certain provisions of the newly passed medical marijuana law.
BISMARCK — Law enforcement and government officials have received numerous death threats from opponents of the Dakota Access Pipeline, court documents allege.
BISMARCK — North Dakota state agencies would be prevented from filling open positions for the next few months under a bill introduced by Republican legislative leaders. Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Ray Holmberg, R-Grand Forks, cited constrained state budgets for the proposal. If passed, state agencies and institutions couldn't fill vacant full-time equivalent employee positions until April 30. "In a time of reductions we shouldn't be hiring new people," Holmberg said.
BISMARCK — A North Dakota legislative committee on Thursday, Jan. 12, signed off on a bill to limit the amount of bonuses offered to the governor’s staff and appointees. With one member absent, the House Government and Veterans Affairs Committee gave a unanimous “do pass” recommendation to House Bill 1153. The bill would limit recruitment and retention bonuses given to employees in the governor’s office and state officers appointed by the governor to 10 percent of their annual salary or $5,000, whichever is less.