The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead
For the second time in two legislative sessions, North Dakota lawmakers rejected an attack on public education. Disguised as a rejection of Common Core standards, the 2017 bill was similar to a move in 2015 that also attempted to misrepresent grassroots work on North Dakota's educational standards upgrades by conflating them with a transparently ideological controversy over Common Core. To their credit then and now, a majority of House members didn't buy it. Earlier this week the bill went down by an impressive margin, 62-27.
Apair of laws winding their way through the North Dakota Legislature are proving that body’s ability for tone-deaf, hamfisted displays of clumsy overreach. One measure seeks to absolve motorists of liability should they cause the injury or death of a protester along a roadside. Another makes it illegal to wear a mask during a protest. Both of them come on the heels of the state’s experience with the Dakota Access Pipeline protests.
When more than 1,000 people gather in Fargo to march for a cause, it’s historic.
Some meteorologists, locked solidly in the strictures of scientific definitions, don’t like the notion of tagging a brief warm spell in midwinter a “January thaw.” Lighten up.
North Dakota landowners who oppose an attempt to weaken the state's oil spill reporting requirements know of what they speak. They are on the front lines daily dealing with spills of oil and other toxic drilling liquids that pollute waterways and render farmland and pastures useless for years. The landowners are on the right side of the debate. Lawmakers would be wise to listen.
Another attempt to eliminate the North Dakota Treasurer's Office has bubbled up in the Legislature, this time with bipartisan support. Bipartisan or not, the idea should meet a quick and merciful death. Of all the state's constitutionally mandated functions, the office of treasurer is among the most efficient and cost-effective.
Most of Gov. Doug Burgum's first State of the State address Tuesday, Jan. 3, to the North Dakota Legislature was without surprises. He stressed what he's been stressing since he began his run for governor: State government can do better by being leaner and adopting efficiencies. He anticipates more budget cuts because of shrinking revenues. It was general, with specifics to come when the governor and his team settle into office.
Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton and Minnesota legislators should be in a happy mood. They have returned to a spectacularly renovated Capitol building. The coffers are more than full, thanks to a surplus surpassing a billion dollars. The state’s business climate, job growth and status as a great place to live have rarely been better.
It is disappointing, but not surprising, that Standing Rock Tribal Chairman Dave Archambault II is being savaged on social media and by other means for asking Dakota Access Pipeline protesters to pack up and go home. He made the request several days ago as extreme winter weather closed in on the camp, creating dangerous conditions. The weather has not improved.