There is a lot of concern among some political observers – including this one – that the initiated measure process is in desperate need of reform. Currently a committee of citizens can submit signatures to amend statute, and even the state constitution, without the involvement of the elected Legislature at all. Supposedly this is a populist mechanism we’re all supposed to be proud of. A pure expression of the grass roots interests of the electorate.
In 2009 the North Dakota Legislature passed a constitutional amendment to create a fund out of a portion of taxes on oil and gas development. It was passed by the voters in the 2010 election, and the result is the Legacy Fund which has a balance of around $5 billion. Over the years there have been a lot of ideas for how to use the Legacy Fund.
MINOT, N.D. -- Recently I wrote a post on my blog commenting on the emerging debate surrounding Governor Doug Burgum’s proposed transition of the Dakota Women’s Correctional and Rehabilitation Center out of New England and to the Missouri River Correctional Center in Bismarck.
A recent spat between State Board of Higher Education members and a couple of university presidents over tuition policy for out-of-state students illustrates exactly why Governor Doug Burgum’s proposed changes to university governance are such a bad idea.
Governor Doug Burgum’s executive budget his ignited several debates over policy and spending across the state. Perhaps one of the most heated so far is the proposed relocation of the Dakota Women’s Correctional and Rehabilitation Center, a prison facility for female inmates current located in New England, North Dakota.
North Dakota has thousands and thousands of military members, both active duty and retired, living in our state. North Dakota has a chronic labor shortage. North Dakota is also one of just eight states which still fully taxes military pay to retirees. Governor Doug Burgum, along with state Rep. Shannon Roers Jones (R-Fargo), each aim to kill those three “birds” with one stone. Or, er, two stones I suppose. Burgum is proposing an exemption from state income taxes for military pay to retired service members.
Are North Dakota students getting smarter about how they finance higher education? It sure seems that way. The cost of attending institutions in the North Dakota University System certainly hasn’t gotten any cheaper, yet the volume of debt being carried by North Dakota students across all 11 public institutions in our state has declined.
Last week I wrote about proposed legislation, being considered for endorsement by the North Dakota Republican Party, which if passed would end North Dakota’s open primary system.
Senator Heidi Heitkamp has a lot of money left over from her unsuccessful 2018 campaign.
MINOT, N.D. -- It’s not the sexiest political topic, so you might be forgiven if you’re unaware of North Dakota’s chronic problems with underfunded pensions. But the problems are real, and while Gov. Doug Burgum proposes addressing the issue with a cash infusion from the state’s reserves, that bailout needs to be coupled with real reform. Because while politicians in our state have been promising to address pensions for a while now, nothing much is changing.