Tag Archives: legislature

Print Column: North Dakota’s New Ethics Regulations May Make Politics Less Transparent

Print Column: North Dakota’s New Ethics Regulations May Make Politics Less Transparent

MINOT, N.D. — Recently, a couple of dozen North Dakota lawmakers took a trip to Nashville which cost taxpayers nearly $90,000. The occasion was a summit put on by the National Conference of State Legislatures, an organization our state legislature belongs to (annual dues were $129,770 this year). The trip itself is not exactly news. These

The North Dakota Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee is working on a bill that relates to high-level radioactive waste storage and disposal. Mike McCleary / Bismarck Tribune

Legislature Should Consider Using Existing Platforms for Video of Committee Meetings

Several years ago the North Dakota Legislature implemented a video system for floor sessions in the House and Senate chambers. I should pause here to note that, with this blog celebrating its 16th birthday yesterday, I’ve been around long enough to remember when we only had an audio stream of floor sessions. Through RealPlayer which,

House Majority Leader Rep. Chet Pollert, R-Carrington, left, and Minority Leader Rep. Joshua Boschee, D-Fargo Tom Stromme / Bismarck Tribune

North Dakota’s Legislature Doesn’t Set Family Leave Policy for Private Businesses and That’s a Good Thing

Recently Bismarck Tribune reporter Jack Dura had a very good report about the amount of pay approved for lawmakers who miss days during the legislative session. As I wrote previously, the amount paid really wasn’t very much, and most of the leave was for perfectly reasonable things like illness and, in one instance, a pregnancy. It’s

Workers prepare the North Dakota House chambers for the upcoming legislative session Monday, Dec. 31, 2018. John Hageman / Forum News Service

Controversy Over Pay for Absent Legislators Is Much Ado About Not Much

If you wanted to be critical of North Dakota lawmakers for rubber stamping pay for colleagues who are absent during the legislative session I think that’s probably valid. Anyone who watches the floor sessions of the Legislature can see how routine the votes are to excuse absences and thus authorize pay. But you have to

Petitioners File photo

Organizer of Referendum Petition Campaigns Says They Don’t Have Enough Signatures Yet

A citizen-led organization calling themselves Audit the Swamp has begun gathering signatures to refer three pieces of legislation, passed by the Legislature earlier this year, to the statewide ballot. They want to block legislation appropriating money to the Theodore Roosevelt Presidential Library project in Medora, excluding lawmaker emails to state agencies from open records requests,

In an undated photo, a urine test sample container. (Johnny Tergo/Copyright 2019 The New York Times)

What Good Is Drug Testing if Defendants Can’t Afford It?

North Dakota state law requires that defendants in drug cases be tested on a regular basis, as a part of their bond agreements, to ensure they aren’t using. But what happens if they can’t afford it? Someone facing criminal charges probably finds themselves in a precarious employment situation, at best, and drug testing can run

Plain Talk: Can’t the People Be Trusted to Vote on Amendments to the Initiated Measure Process?

Proponents of North Dakota’s initiated measure process argue that the will of the people, as expressed at the ballot box, is the ultimate arbiter of political questions. So why then does a group of initiated measure enthusiasts, led by activist Dustin Gawrylow, want to stop the people from voting on amendments to the initiated measure

Workers prepare the North Dakota House chambers for the upcoming legislative session Monday, Dec. 31, 2018. John Hageman / Forum News Service

The Legislature Is the Will of the People Too

“There are hidden contradictions in the minds of people who ‘love Nature’ while deploring the ‘artificialities’ with which ‘Man has spoiled ‘Nature’,” famed science fiction writer Robert Heinlein once wrote. “The obvious contradiction lies in their choice of words, which imply that man and his artifacts are not part of ‘Nature’ — but beavers and their

Measure 1 Backers Send Deeply Ironic Letter to Lawmakers Insisting They Begin Work on an Ethics Committee

The North Dakotans for Public Integrity, an ostensibly local front group for left wing interests funded by big donations from Hollywood activists, was successful in getting Measure 1 approved on the statewide ballot last month. That despite the ACLU, among other groups, objecting to the onerous restrictions on political speech the measure represents. Now, with

Rep. Thomas Beadle, R-Fargo during floor debate Friday, Feb. 10, 2017, at the state Capitol in Bismarck. Mike McCleary / Bismarck Tribune

Audit: North Dakota’s Use of Open Source Textbooks Has Saved North Dakota Students a Lot of Money

For generations now the cost of higher education has been out of control. This isn’t exactly news to you, I’m sure, but it may surprise you to know that the cost of textbooks has grown even faster than the rapid increase in tuition costs. Check out this graph from a recent report from the North

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