John Hageman covers local business and Grand Forks' legislative delegation. Get more business news at aroundtown.areavoices.com.
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Committees recommends bill approval allowing earlier alcohol sales on Sundays. BISMARCK -- A North Dakota legislative committee gave a thumbs-up Wednesday to a bill that would allow bars and restaurants to serve alcohol an hour earlier -- 11 a.m. -- on Sundays. Bill sponsor state Rep. Marie Strinden, D-Grand Forks, said the bill is aimed at resolving the "inequality" between North Dakota and its neighbors, including Minnesota. East Grand Forks allows alcohol sales beginning at 10 a.m.
GRAND FORKS -- A bill introduced in the North Dakota Legislature would allow underage active military service members to drink alcohol on base. The bill, sponsored by state Rep. Andrew Maragos, R-Minot, is scheduled for a hearing this morning in the House Judiciary Committee. It would allow service members between the ages of 18 and 21 to purchase and consume alcohol on a military installation in North Dakota if it's authorized by that base's commanding officer. Maragos, the lone sponsor on the bill, said he is bringing it forward on behalf of a citizen.
BISMARCK -- A North Dakota legislative committee took no action Monday on a bill that would give the state's university students the right to an attorney during disciplinary hearings. The proposal, Senate Bill 2150, would give students and student organizations the right to an attorney or non-attorney advocate -- hired at the student's or organization's expense -- who could fully participate in the hearing process.
GRAND FORKS, N.D. -- Another Grand Forks legislator has introduced a bill to tweak North Dakota's voter identification law. State Sen. Ray Holmberg, R-Grand Forks, introduced a bill Thursday that would require student photo identification cards provided by North Dakota universities to include the student's date of birth and residential address. It would also require the university to provide each student with information on voter eligibility requirements. Holmberg said the bill was in response to trouble some students had voting during the November election.
BISMARCK -- North Dakota lawmakers are proposing changes to the state's voter identification law after some had problems casting a ballot in November. The proposals come after the Legislature changed North Dakota's voter identification law two years ago to do away with the voter affidavit process that allowed voters to cast a ballot without proper ID. A bill introduced last week by state Rep. Corey Mock, D-Grand Forks, would reverse that change and bring back affidavits. "Let's go back to the 2013 law and start from there," Mock said. But state Rep.
GRAND FORKS, N.D. -- A group of North Dakota lawmakers want to make it more convenient to cross the Canadian border with a new kind of driver's license. Legislators have introduced a bill that would allow for an optional "enhanced operator's license" in North Dakota. That would include information that would allow American citizens to cross the Canadian border. "The goal would be to make it easier on our citizens who want to go up to Canada and back," said Rep. Marie Strinden, D-Grand Forks, a bill sponsor.
BISMARCK -- November's election saw very little change in North Dakota's political landscape. Voters opposed seven of the eight constitutional measures on the ballot, all of the statewide offices remained in Republican control and Democrats gained one seat in the Legislature. Yet Democrats -- who have been outnumbered in the state Senate since 1992 and in the House since 1984 -- say they still have an important role in the Legislature.
GRAND FORKS -- A bill introduced in the North Dakota Legislature would provide incentives to construct new fertilizer or chemical processing plants in the state. The proposal, Senate Bill 2035, would exempt sales and use taxes for materials used to construct or expand a fertilizer or chemical processing facility.
BISMARCK -- As the Mac Schneider family moved into their temporary Bismarck home last week, another family's portraits hung on the wall. Senate Minority Leader Schneider is one of several northeast North Dakota legislators who is renting a home from people who spend the winter in warmer climates.
GRAND FORKS -- Falling oil prices are on the minds of many in North Dakota, where the industry has brought unprecedented wealth and state revenue. And while government officials and economists anticipate some sort of effects, it remains to be seen how long it might take for prices to rebound. A Moody's Analytics report from October provided by state Sen. Ray Holmberg of Grand Forks said North Dakota "will navigate through lower oil prices gracefully" in the near term.