Mike Nowatzki reports for Forum News Service. He can be reached at (701) 255-5607.
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BISMARCK — Retailers and distributors urged state lawmakers Tuesday to snuff out a bill that would raise North Dakota's tobacco taxes for the first time in 22 years, warning it could have a "devastating" impact on businesses, spur cigarette smuggling and unfairly burden smokers who can least afford it. Backers of the $1.10-per-pack increase in House Bill 1421 said it will put North Dakota on par with the national average, save millions in avoided health care costs, prevent young people from starting smoking and give adults the incentive they need to quit. "I look at it as a silent
BISMARCK — Education and business leaders spoke out Monday against a bill that would sever North Dakota's ties to the Common Core education standards and replace them with standards developed by a group overseen by state lawmakers. More than 200 parents, educators and others packed the Capitol's largest hearing room for the debate on House Bill 1461.
BISMARCK — North Dakota senators on Monday defeated one of two bills proposing that the state Legislature meet annually instead of every other year. Senate Bill 2247 failed on a vote of 19-28. It would have split up the current 80-day legislative session into sessions of 50 days during odd-numbered years and 30 days during even-numbered years. Montana, Nevada, North Dakota and Texas are currently the only states with Legislatures that meet biennially. Legislatures in the other 46 states meet annually. Sen.
BISMARCK -- Fargo officials streamed into the Capitol on Friday to make their case for $120 million in state funds to bolster the city's interior flood protection and prevent steep increases in flood insurance costs on some 2,300 homes and other structures. House Majority Leader Al Carlson, R-Fargo, the prime sponsor of House Bill 1415, stressed that the funding request isn't tied to the proposed Fargo-Moorhead diversion project. "No matter what happens to that, it's going to take a long time for that to be built, and we need to address the needs of our city within that period of ti
BISMARCK — Every once in a while, when she hears the voice over the House speaker system utter a first initial followed by her last name, Rep. Pamela Anderson wonders:...
BISMARCK -- A proposal to raise the cap on North Dakota's Outdoor Heritage Fund by $20 million drew strong support from conservation groups and others Friday, but a Bismarck lawmaker questioned whether cuts should be considered given the state's financial outlook amid slumping oil prices. The discussion comes after North Dakota voters rejected a constitutional amendment last November that would have dedicated 5 percent of the state's oil extraction tax revenue into a conservation fund for projects related to water, wildlife habitat and parks.Dennis Hill, general manager of the North Da
BISMARCK — A $1.1 billion spending bill designed to give oil-impacted cities and counties in western North Dakota a jumpstart on the 2015 construction season was fast-tracked through the Senate...
BISMARCK — Legislative leaders remained optimistic about North Dakota’s financial position but predicted some difficult decisions ahead in light of a revised forecast Thursday that shows oil and gas tax...
BISMARCK – A revised state revenue forecast presented Thursday to North Dakota lawmakers predicts the effects of sagging oil prices will cause oil and gas tax revenue to drop more...
BISMARCK -- Leaders of groups representing North Dakota teachers, administrators and school boards implored state lawmakers Tuesday to reject a bill that would allow concealed weapons in schools, while voicing support for legislation to provide state funding for school resource officers. "Frankly, I am appalled that there are people who actually think we should equip school personnel with guns," Jon Martinson, executive director of the North Dakota School Boards Association, told the House Education Committee, which didn't take immediate action on either bill. House Bill 1195 —