Tag Archives: keith kempenich

Referendum Campaign Forming to Put Question of Auditor’s Power on the Ballot

Referendum Campaign Forming to Put Question of Auditor’s Power on the Ballot

There has been a lot of controversy over legislation, sneaked into the budget for the Auditor’s office during the closing days of this year’s legislative session, which limits the powers of the state Auditor. Per that legislation, which was signed by Governor Doug Burgum (with feeble justification), the Auditor must now go begging to a legislative

Lawmaker Admits They Gutted Auditor’s Powers Because He Isn’t “Supposed to Embarrass People”

When news first broke that the Legislature had snuck some last minute language into a budget bill to remove the bulk of state Auditor Josh Gallion’s autonomy supporters of the move insisted that it wasn’t retribution. Only now, as Associated Press reporter James MacPherson reports, one lawmaker is confirming that’s exactly what it was: Backers

If We’re Really Concerned About Ethics in North Dakota We Should Have Given Lawmakers Their Free Lunch*

There is a lot of Sturm und Drang about ethics in North Dakota right now. Most of it – especially the clouds of smug coming from the Measure 1 supporters – isn’t so much about ethics as a group of partisan cranks out to shift the state’s political winds by regulating political activity. Because what do you

Burgum’s Budget Makes Spending of Oil Tax Revenues More Transparent

I’m a fan of Governor Doug Burgum’s executive budget. It’s not perfect, but it’s very good, not just for its restrained (and at times even innovative) spending but because of the way it’s structured. Case in point, some time back during John Hoeven’s tenure as governor the executive branch (with an assist from lawmakers) figured

Video: Citing “Negative Perception” House Votes Down Bill Limiting Liability for Hitting People Blocking Roads

Rep. Keith Kempenich (R-Bowman) got a lot of blowback when HB1203, which he sponsored, hit the national media. He told his colleagues during a floor speech today in favor of the bill that he’d like to play some audio of one of the calls he received as a result of that coverage. “I was told

There Is a Fight in the North Dakota House Between New and Old Lawmakers

The state House of Representatives held a second floor session today at 5:00pm, which is a bit unusual. Typically we don’t see multiple daily floor sessions until the crunch times before crossover (when the House and Senate exchange their passed bills) and sine die which ends the overall legislative session. The former is still weeks away,

House Reconsiders, Passes Legislation Repealing Blue Laws

Yesterday the state House of Representatives defeated HB1163 on a 44-50 vote after a lengthy debate with a lot of religious justifications for keeping some businesses closed Sunday mornings. Today state Rep. Keith Kempenich, who was a “no” vote yesterday, moved to reconsider the bill. The vote on his motion passed 54-48, and this time

Legislation Would Remove Liability for Motorists Hitting People or Property That Is Obstructing a Road

One tactic often deployed by the #NoDAPL activists fighting the Dakota Access Pipeline project was to obstruct roads. The protesters marched down the middle of streets in Bismarck and Mandan. At one point they literally built a road block across a highway near the pipeline construction site, refusing to move and responding with violence when

Video: House Passes Oil Tax Trigger Reform

This morning the House Finance and Taxation Committee heard testimony on HB1476, which would eliminate the looming “big trigger” oil tax exemption and replace it with a flat and permanent 4.5 percent extraction tax. The committee kicked it out with a party-line 10-4 “do pass” recommendation, and the full House got a vote on it

North Dakota Legislature Needs To Be More Protective Of Their Authority

I often hear people complain about North Dakota lawmakers. They’re accused of being spendthrifts and in the pockets of special interests. But from my perspective, one of the major problems with the Legislature is that they seem gunshy about exercising their own authority. Case in point. Earlier this session House lawmakers approved HB1187, introduced by