John Hageman covers North Dakota politics from the Forum News Service bureau in Bismarck. He attended the University of Minnesota in the Twin Cities, where he studied journalism and political science, and he previously worked at the Grand Forks Herald and Bemidji Pioneer.
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BISMARCK—North Dakota lawmakers are again considering changes to the state's voter identification requirements, an issue that has landed the state in federal court over previous laws passed by the Legislature. House Bill 1369 would help preserve the integrity of the state's elections, House Majority Leader Al Carlson, R-Fargo, said in testimony to the House Government and Veterans Affairs Committee Friday, Jan. 27.
BISMARCK—A bill that lays out medical marijuana regulations was introduced in the North Dakota Senate Friday, Jan. 27. The legislation was introduced as a delayed bill because Monday was the deadline for senators to introduce proposals. "They want to get it right," said Sen. Jerry Klein, R-Fessenden, the chairman of the Delayed Bills Committee. "This is a big deal."
BISMARCK—With Second Amendment rights and public safety concerns at the forefront, North Dakota lawmakers heard testimony on a group of gun bills Thursday, Jan. 26. Perhaps the most contentious piece of legislation heard Thursday was the so-called "constitutional carry" bill, introduced by Rep. Rick Becker, R-Bismarck. That bill would make it legal for people who are at least 21 years old to carry a concealed firearm without a permit in North Dakota, as long as the carrier is not otherwise prohibited to do so by law.
BISMARCK — In an effort to better inform citizens of major events and battle misinformation, North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum and other state leaders unveiled a new website Wednesday, Jan. 25. NDResponse.gov will provide information during events that have a "significant impact on the public and involve multi-agency responses," Burgum said in a news conference at the state Capitol. As of Wednesday afternoon, it showcased information on the monthslong protests over the Dakota Access Pipeline and potential spring flooding.
BISMARCK—The North Dakota House shot down two bills to update election equipment Tuesday, Jan. 24. House Bill 1123, which would have appropriated $9 million from the general fund to replace equipment such as ballot scanners across the state, failed on a 12-78 vote. Immediately afterward, House Bill 1122, which would have spent $3 million for electronic poll books across the state, failed on a 17-72 vote.
BISMARCK — A bill that would make it a crime to hide behind a mask during a protest faced constitutional questions during a North Dakota legislative committee hearing Tuesday, Jan. 24.
BISMARCK—North Dakota's universities are missing out on talented leaders who are worried about their name becoming public too soon in the hiring process, said the primary sponsor of a bill aiming to exempt applicants from the state's open records law. But officials representing the state's news organizations said the proposal would be a blow to transparency.
BISMARCK—The North Dakota Legislature will consider lifting the state's ban on providing government assistance to people who have been recently convicted of a felony drug charge in what supporters say is part of an effort to reduce recidivism and slow a growing prison population.
BISMARCK—North Dakota county officials are warning the state's aging election system could be "unworkable" by the next presidential contest and are seeking state funding for new equipment. But legislators who are trying to fund state agencies and programs with significantly less tax revenue than they had just a few years ago are hesitant to meet the request.
BISMARCK -- Calling it a knee-jerk reaction to events surrounding the Dakota Access Pipeline protests, a line of people testified against proposed North Dakota legislation Friday, Jan. 20, that wouldn’t hold drivers liable for injuring or killing people who intentionally block a roadway.