Mike Nowatzki, Forum News Service
BISMARCK — North Dakota has joined 26 other states in passing a resolution calling for a balanced budget amendment to the U.S. Constitution, though some Republican lawmakers feel it doesn't go far enough to rein in Congress and other branches of the federal government. The state Senate passed a resolution Tuesday asking Congress to call a convention for the sole purpose of proposing an amendment requiring a balanced federal budget. "If we want fiscal discipline in Washington, D.C., it has to come from the states. We have to be bold in our approach to them," said Sen.
BISMARCK — Lawmakers crafting North Dakota's budget for the next two years are sharpening their knives and shooting for a $200 million cushion in the general fund in case a revenue forecast adopted Tuesday proves to be too rosy. Concerns about revenues falling short of earlier predictions because of downturns in the energy and agriculture sectors have created a different mindset as lawmakers prepare to tackle major spending bills in the next few weeks, said Rep.
BISMARCK — House Republicans on Tuesday denied a request to reconsider a failed bill that would have required the North Dakota Department of Transportation to report on rail safety issues to a legislative committee. House members defeated Senate Bill 2293 on Monday by a 34-55 vote, despite a 10-2 do-pass recommendation from the House Political Subdivisions Committee. Rep. Marie Strinden, D-Grand Forks, was absent Monday and asked Tuesday that the bill be reconsidered. Her request was supported by Rep.
BISMARCK — Kirsten Baesler says she just wanted to go home. Instead, North Dakota's superintendent of public instruction was handcuffed, hauled off to jail and run through a legal process that thrust her messy personal life into the public spotlight. It ended Friday when a Bismarck city prosecutor dismissed a simple assault charge that accused 45-year-old Baesler of striking her now-former fiancé in the face with an object he claims was a glass-jar candle. Baesler, who hadn't spoken publicly about the incident aside from a prepared statement, broke her silence during an interview with
BISMARCK — North Dakota's oil tax revenues took another nearly $1 billion hit in the latest revenue forecast released Wednesday, but the picture for general fund revenues was nearly $131 million rosier than in January, leaving some lawmakers scratching their heads as they pointed to slumping oil prices and a drop in drilling activity. The forecast, prepared by the Office of Management and Budget with consultant Moody's Analytics, is the first since a Jan.
BISMARCK — A bill designed to boost North Dakota's dairy and swine industries by easing the state's anti-corporate farming law was sent back to committee Friday after the North Dakota Farmers Union raised concerns it would permit only large corporate-owned operations and discriminate against medium- and small-sized family farmers. The House was slated to consider Senate Bill 2351 for approval Friday, but the bill was pulled off the calendar and sent back to the House Agriculture Committee. As amended by the committee last week, the bill would allow a domestic corporation or limited lia
BISMARCK — What's in a name? In North Dakota, it may soon be more in the middle and less at the end. State senators unanimously approved a bill Thursday that will allow someone getting married to take on their spouse's last name while still keeping both their own middle name and surname — all without having to use a hyphenated last name. Sen. Jonathan Casper, R-Fargo, who carried House Bill 1183, explained it this way: If Mary Anne Smith marries Sam Johnson, she will be able to take Johnson as her last name and keep Anne Smith as her middle name.
BISMARCK — House lawmakers gave a cool reception Wednesday to legislation that would let North Dakota voters decide whether to change how money is spent from the nearly $3 billion Legacy Fund they created. Members of the House Appropriations Committee voted 15-4 to give the proposal a do-not-pass recommendation, with several saying it's too soon to dip into the fund's principal as proposed in House Concurrent Resolution 3042. "Maybe we're getting a little ahead of ourselves," said Rep.
BISMARCK — After cutting $1 billion from the governor's budget during the first half of the session, North Dakota legislators will enter the second half Wednesday with major spending bills shelved until a highly anticipated revenue forecast comes out in two weeks. A handful of lawmakers returned to the Capitol on Tuesday, the last day of their five-day recess. Lawmakers left town last Thursday with a $179 million deficit remaining in the general fund budget for 2015-17, based on roughly $5.98 billion in anticipated revenues and $6.16 billion in appropriations. "That's not a surprise n
BISMARCK — Gov. Jack Dalrymple signed an unprecedented $1.1 billion early funding bill Tuesday that will give North Dakota counties, cities and the state highway department a head start on...