John Hageman covers local business and North Dakota politics. He attended the University of Minnesota in the Twin Cities, where he studied journalism and political science, and he previously worked at the Bemidji Pioneer.
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North Dakota Democratic leaders are raising alarms about whether the state will be able to continue to provide property tax relief during tough fiscal times, but others don't appear worried. The state has eased property taxes, which are levied by local governments, through a 12 percent buydown. For the current two-year budget cycle, the state set aside $250 million for the buydown.
BISMARCK—North Dakota Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem is anticipating filing a legal challenge to the Obama administration's directive on transgender bathroom policy next week. Stenehjem, a Republican who is also running for governor, announced efforts last week to form a coalition with other attorneys general to file a lawsuit. He anticipated at the time he would file the suit this week, but as of late morning Friday, Stenehjem told the Herald it had not been submitted.
BISMARCK—Legislation requiring all adults living in potential foster homes to undergo background checks before a Native American child can be placed there has passed Congress and is expected to be signed by President Barack Obama.
GRAND FORKS—A section of a Grand Forks street remained closed late Tuesday morning, signaling the level of damage left by a Sunday night thunderstorm that knocked down trees and cut power to thousands of residents. The National Weather Service estimated that wind speeds reached 100 to 110 miles per hour in some areas during the storm. It was enough to tear off a portion of a home's roof and uproot trees.
A North Dakota business leader and Republican lawmakers criticized a new federal rule Thursday that would expand the number of workers eligible for overtime pay. The rule, finalized this week by the U.S. Department of Labor, would raise the threshold under which most salaried employees are guaranteed overtime pay from $23,660 to $47,476 a year. All hourly employees are generally guaranteed overtime, according to a White House fact sheet.
BISMARCK—North Dakota Democratic legislators again called for a special session Thursday to deal with state budget cuts, citing recent public forums in Grand Forks and West Fargo addressing drug abuse. But a spokesman for Republican Gov. Jack Dalrymple said his decision against a special session before the Legislature convenes next year still stands.
GRAND FORKS—North Dakota political campaigns are finding another place to reach potential voters: between vacation photos and reactions to the latest episode of "Game of Thrones." Social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter have been used frequently in federal and state races to update followers on where candidates are campaigning on a given day and post news stories.
GRAND FORKS —In some ways, Wayne Stenehjem's campaign for North Dakota governor began long before he officially launched it last November in a Grand Forks coffee shop. More than two decades before Stenehjem was sworn in to his current job as the state's attorney general, he was elected to his first public office as a legislator from Grand Forks. A relative unknown then, Stenehjem is now relying on his decades of experience and name recognition to help win the most high-profile election of his career.
GRAND FORKS, N.D. -- A candidate for North Dakota superintendent of public instruction wrote about the Holocaust and suggested President Barack Obama produced "forged paperwork" related to his birth in social media posts last year. Joseph Chiang, a teacher at Four Winds High School in Fort Totten, N.D., wrote about religion and prayer in an Aug. 9 LinkedIn post titled, "God WILL Heal!?" The final paragraph of the post argued that we "cannot see the results of what we ask, but God can," and said God once answered prayers to heal a "sickly Austrian boy," Adolf Hitler.
WASHINGTON—The U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments today on North Dakota and Minnesota drunk driving cases that could have broader implications for how states deter that crime.