Mike Nowatzki reports for Forum News Service. He can be reached at (701) 255-5607.
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BISMARCK — The fuss raised by former North Dakota GOP chairman Gary Emineth on Monday at the Republican National Convention wasn't about unbinding delegates or stopping Donald Trump from becoming the party's presidential nominee, he said — he simply wanted a roll-call vote on the convention rules. But Emineth and other petitioners didn't get it, and while he was still stewing about it Tuesday in Cleveland, he said it was time for delegates to move on and unite behind Trump.
BISMARCK — Prized pigs and ribbon-worthy crafts could earn youngsters a bit less at the North Dakota State Fair next year. State agencies are proposing cuts to staff, equipment, travel and other areas—including State Fair prize premiums—to comply with 10 percent cuts ordered by Gov. Jack Dalrymple as they begin to submit their general fund budget requests for next biennium. With nowhere else to cut, fair Manager Renae Korslien said the State Fair Association had no choice but to slash premiums by more than $50,000.
BISMARCK – A second state lawmaker plans to introduce legislation to delay construction of a new North Dakota governor’s residence, saying his bill has been in the works for weeks and it’s “not the right time” for the project with the state facing a major revenue shortfall. Republican Rep. Jim Kasper of Fargo told Forum News Service late Sunday that his bill would revoke the authority and $4 million appropriation provided by lawmakers in April 2015 to build a new governor’s residence if $1 million in private funds could be raised.
BISMARCK — Rulemakers for the Republican National Convention killed any chance Friday of a last-ditch effort to dump Donald Trump as the party's presidential nominee, confirming what the head of the North Dakota Republican Party saw happening a day earlier. "I feel like it's moving the other way. I think people are rallying behind him," GOP chairman Kelly Armstrong said Thursday by phone from Cleveland, site of the four-day convention that starts Monday. "It's not like 'aw shucks,' kicking dirt."
BISMARCK – After seeing its largest monthly drop ever in April, North Dakota oil production rebounded slightly in May but is still expected to dip below 1 million barrels per day by the end of this year or early next year, Department of Mineral Resources Director Lynn Helms said Friday. Production inched up by half a percentage point in May, to 1.047 million barrels per day, or 5,383 barrels per day higher than in April, according to preliminary figures.
BISMARCK – A North Dakota Republican Party official says it’s “pure coincidence” that Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem’s decision to skip the Republican National Convention has opened the door for Fargo entrepreneur Doug Burgum – who defeated Stenehjem last month for the GOP nomination for governor – to attend as a delegate. North Dakota is sending 28 delegates to the convention next week in Cleveland, where New York businessman Donald Trump hopes to clinch the party’s official nomination for president.
BISMARCK – The North Dakota Department of Health estimates a proposed ballot measure aimed at legalizing medical marijuana would require adding 32 full-time employees and cost $8.7 million to administer in the first biennium – a figure the measure’s lead sponsor called “outrageous.”
BISMARCK – Gov. Jack Dalrymple took the extraordinary step Wednesday of calling the Legislature into special session to plug a budget gap that’s projected to widen to $310 million by the end of this biennium, after already shoring up a more than $1 billion revenue shortfall in February. Dalrymple issued an executive order for lawmakers to convene Aug. 2. Under the state constitution, they must meet for at least the three days to pass a bill, which Dalrymple said his office will introduce to the Legislature’s delayed bills committee.
BISMARCK – Gov. Jack Dalrymple is expected to announce Wednesday, July 13, whether he will call the Legislature into special session to deal with a revenue shortfall brought on by lower-than-expected oil and sales tax collections stemming from low crude and farm commodity prices. After meeting Monday afternoon with leaders of the Legislature’s Republican majority, Dalrymple on Tuesday called a press conference for 2:30 p.m. Wednesday to provide an update on the shortfall and outline options to resolve it and balance the 2015-17 budget.
BISMARCK – A Dickinson elementary school principal will take over Wednesday as executive director of North Dakota’s teacher licensing board at a time when the state is updating its education standards and collecting data to determine the extent of its teacher shortage. The Education Standards and Practices Board hired Rebecca Pitkin to replace Janet Welk, who will retire in December after 18 years as director.