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—Citing Second Amendment rights, a North Dakota Senate committee gave its blessing to a bill allowing qualified people to carry a concealed firearm without a permit Monday, March 20. House Bill 1169 is known as the "constitutional carry" bill. It says that a person who is not otherwise prevented from having a Class 2 concealed carry license and has had an ID from the Department of Transportation for at least a year may carry a concealed firearm.
BISMARCK—A North Dakota House committee again gave an unfavorable recommendation to controversial casino legislation Monday, March 20, but not before lawmakers amended the resolution to allow for privately owned casinos. The House Judiciary Committee gave House Concurrent Resolution 3033 a "do not pass" recommendation in an 11-4 vote. As introduced, it would ask voters whether to amend the state Constitution to allow up to six state-owned casinos away from Native American reservations and the state's larger cities.
BISMARCK — A North Dakota House committee will take up the contentious rewrite of the state's new medical marijuana law Tuesday, March 21. Senate Bill 2344, which amends the Compassionate Care Act that North Dakota voters passed in November through an initiated measure, passed the Senate last month in a 40-6 vote. Lawmakers have said changes were needed to make the law workable, but critics argue the Legislature should honor the will of the people. The bill will go before the House Human Services Committee 9:30 a.m. Tuesday at the state Capitol.
BISMARCK — A bill being considered by North Dakota lawmakers could allow university residence hall directors and resident assistants to store a firearm in their dorm rooms, drawing concern from the North Dakota University System. But a Republican lawmaker said the bill isn't aimed at university residences and includes adequate safeguards.
BISMARCK — Elected officials from Red River Valley cities and across North Dakota made their pitch for water project funding during a state legislative budget hearing Thursday, March 16. Amid the waterfall of testimony was a presentation from Fargo City Commissioner Tony Grindberg, who advocated for continued state support of the massive flood diversion project in Fargo-Moorhead. The estimated $2.2 billion project is expected to receive about a fourth of its funding — $570 million — from the state of North Dakota.
BISMARCK — House lawmakers agreed to shield records related to applicants for all government jobs in North Dakota, a move Thursday, March 16, that a critic called an "assault" on taxpayers' right to know about their government's actions.
BISMARCK—Controversial legislation opening the door to state-owned casinos in North Dakota was sent back to a House committee Thursday, March 16. House Concurrent Resolution 3033, introduced by House Majority Leader Al Carlson, R-Fargo, was re-referred to the House Judiciary Committee, which gave it a "do not pass" recommendation in a 13-2 vote Wednesday afternoon. The committee is expected to take it up again Monday.
BISMARCK—Amendments to controversial casino legislation would allow privately owned casinos in North Dakota's largest cities.
BISMARCK — Any money the state of North Dakota uses to pay the owner of an off-track horse racing wagering company could come through a state agency budget bill, a legislative leader said Wednesday, March 15. An order filed in federal bankruptcy court last month says Susan Bala, owner of Racing Services Inc., is owed $13.5 million in taxes on racing bets the company paid to the state, plus interest. Bala said this week the money was improperly taken from RSI, and some of the repayment would go to the company's creditors.
BISMARCK -- North Dakota senators voted down a bill that would have allowed retailers to open on Sunday mornings. Current state law makes it a Class B misdemeanor to operate a business that’s open to the public before noon on Sunday, but exceptions exist for restaurants, hotels, hospitals and other businesses. A repeal of most of that law failed in the Senate 22-25 Tuesday, March 14.