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 — It's unlikely that North Dakota lawmakers will reconvene to address several vetoes announced by Gov. Doug Burgum after the Legislature adjourned late last month, legislative leaders said Tuesday, May 16. When asked if expected the Legislature to come back to the Capitol, Sen. Ray Holmberg, R-Grand Forks, said, "I do not think so." Holmberg is chairman of the 17-member committee known as Legislative Management that would decide whether to reconvene.
BISMARCK—North Dakota legislative leaders are still weighing whether to come back into session to address several vetoes handed down by Gov. Doug Burgum after the Legislature adjourned in late April. The 17-member committee known as Legislative Management will ultimately decide whether to call lawmakers back to Bismarck, said Senate Majority Leader Rich Wardner, R-Dickinson. That committee's chairman, Sen. Ray Holmberg, R-Grand Forks, is out of the country but will be back this week.
BISMARCK—A bill creating a new state department is on its way to Gov. Doug Burgum. The North Dakota Senate gave its final stamp of approval to Senate Bill 2327, which separates the Environmental Health Section of the state Department of Health into a new Cabinet-level agency, the Department of Environmental Quality. The bill was introduced by Sen. Jessica Unruh, R-Beulah. The Senate passed it in a 31-16 vote Monday, April 3, after agreeing to changes made by the House.
BISMARCK—The North Dakota governor's Cabinet would grow by one member under a bill passed by House lawmakers Tuesday, March 28. Citing federal "overreach" on environmental issues, the House passed legislation creating a new Department of Environmental Quality. The department would be created out of what is now the Environmental Health Section of the state Department of Health.
BISMARCK—The Public Service Commission is seeking increased funding for its rail inspection program even as the amount of oil moved by trains in North Dakota declines. The agency's budget that went before the Senate Appropriations Committee Monday, March 6, includes $529,088 for the railroad safety program, which funds two state inspectors to look for problems on North Dakota's tracks and rail cars. One of those inspectors, however, is a "temporary" position, meaning the only benefit he receives is medical insurance.
BISMARCK — Nine people, including a sitting North Dakota lawmaker, have been interviewed for the vacant Public Service Commission seat, according to a list provided by Gov. Doug Burgum's office Thursday, Feb. 23. The three-member commission is down one member after Brian Kalk left for a job at the University of North Dakota's Energy and Environmental Research Center in January after serving two years of his second six-year term. Burgum, a Republican, will appoint Kalk's successor.
BISMARCK—North Dakota Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem said it's "very likely" the state will sue the federal government to recoup cleanup costs associated with the Dakota Access Pipeline protest camp on federal land. Stenehjem's comments on Wednesday, Feb. 22, came hours before an evacuation order issued by North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum takes effect for people occupying Army Corps of Engineers land adjacent to the Cannonball River in southern Morton County. State officials have said a cleanup is needed to prevent debris from washing into the river during spring flooding.
BISMARCK—A North Dakota Senate Committee tweaked legislation Tuesday, Feb. 21, that put a two-year moratorium on new wind energy development, but an opponent argued the amendment did not improve the bill.
BISMARCK—With constituents worried about quickly clearing snow from roads, a North Dakota lawmaker made an unsuccessful attempt to keep several highway maintenance shops open Tuesday, Feb. 14.
BISMARCK -- The state Senate declined to boost the speed limit on North Dakota’s interstates Tuesday, Feb. 14. Senate Bill 2057, introduced by Sen. Lonnie Laffen, R-Grand Forks, would have increased the speed limit on interstates 29 and 94 from 75 mph to 80 mph. It would have also bumped up the fines for speeding on the highway. Ultimately, the bill failed 18-28, with opponents worrying the change would make North Dakota roads less safe.