Mike Nowatzki reports for Forum News Service. He can be reached at (701) 255-5607.
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BISMARCK—North Dakota lawmakers have passed a bill requiring a special election to fill a U.S. Senate vacancy, a bill seen by Democrats as an attempt to discourage U.S. Sen.
BISMARCK—Democrats asked Gov.
BISMARCK — A bill designed to return a bigger share of oil tax revenue to counties, cities, schools and townships unanimously passed the Senate on Monday after Republicans rejected an amendment by Democrats to boost the local share if oil production increases. The Democrats' "contingency" amendment to House Bill 1176 would have sent 40 percent of the production tax revenues to political subdivisions in oil-producing counties in the second half of next biennium if average daily oil production hit 1.2 million barrels a day by February 2016. "Instead of surging once every two years to
BISMARCK -- Efforts to polish budgets and hammer out differences between House and Senate versions of bills have shifted into high gear at the Capitol as lawmakers race to wrap up the session with at least five days to spare in case they need to reconvene later. Thursday marked the 60th day of the session, which is limited to 80 days every two years. The House and Senate didn't convene on Friday, so that makes April 24 the target date finishing in 75 legislative days or less, said House Majority Leader Al Carlson, who keeps a "Days to 5" peel-off calendar hanging above his desk.
BISMARCK -- House Majority Leader Al Carlson says North Dakota lawmakers don't want "a war" over legislation designed to ensure that Sanford Health Plan matches the existing health coverage for public employees when their plan switches July 1. "We just want them to be the same," he said. But testimony to the Senate Human Services Committee this past week left little doubt: If senators approve House Bill 1475 as it passed the House last month, a legal battle awaits. "I think this will be the mother of all lawsuits," said Sen.
BISMARCK -- North Dakota's House Republican leadership is upset with Gov. Jack Dalrymple over his critical comments Thursday after the GOP majority's vote to defeat a bill that would have banned discrimination based on sexual orientation. "If he had some weighing in to do, it should have been in advance and not after the fact," House Majority Leader Al Carlson of Fargo said Friday. The House killed Senate Bill 2279 in two parts Thursday.
BISMARCK -- The board that licenses teachers and education administrators in North Dakota voted unanimously Thursday not to take disciplinary action against state Superintendent of Public Instruction Kirsten Baesler or her ex-fiancé now that an assault charge accusing Baesler of assaulting him has been dismissed. Authorities arrested Baesler on Feb. 15 at her Mandan home on suspicion of simple assault after her then-fiance, Todd Tschosik, reported that she had thrown a glass-jar candle that struck him in the face at his Bismarck home early that morning.
BISMARCK -- For the third time in six years, North Dakota lawmakers have killed legislation that would ban discrimination based on sexual orientation, despite warnings from some Democrats and Republicans that it could tarnish the growing state's image and attract backlash similar to what Indiana and Arkansas have faced in recent days. Kevin Tengesdal, a gay U.S. Navy veteran from Bismarck who had testified for the bill and helped fill the House balcony in support of it Thursday, brushed away tears and hugged fellow supporters outside the chamber after the vote. "It was disheartening.
Dem says GOP breaks promise with Senate vote to keep Outdoor Heritage Fund cap at $30M BISMARCK — In what one Democrat called "the first of unfortunately a long line of broken promises," state senators passed a bill Wednesday that would keep the state's Outdoor Heritage Fund capped at $30 million instead of the $50 million proposed by Gov.
BISMARCK — Legislation that would make it illegal to discriminate against someone based on their sexual orientation in North Dakota received an unfavorable committee vote Tuesday. The House Human Services Committee voted 11-2 to give Senate Bill 2279 a do-not-pass recommendation. Committee chairman Rep. Robin Weisz, R-Hurdsfield, said the bill will likely be up for a vote in the full House on Thursday. Rep.