Mike Nowatzki reports for Forum News Service. He can be reached at (701) 255-5607.
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BISMARCK — Attempts to delay construction of a new North Dakota governor's residence fell short Tuesday as a committee deciding which bills to address during the Legislature's special session this week rejected two bills aimed at derailing the $5 million project. The House Delayed Bills Committee voted 4-1 to reject a bill proposed by Rep. Jim Kasper, R-Fargo.
BISMARCK — Recent changes to North Dakota's voter identification laws have placed an "undue burden" on Native Americans and other voters, a federal judge ruled Monday in ordering the state to put its 2012 voter ID laws back into place. U.S. District Court Judge Daniel Hovland granted a preliminary injunction requested by seven members of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa who sued Secretary of State Al Jaeger in January claiming the voter ID laws are unconstitutional and discriminatory.
BISMARCK — Gov. Jack Dalrymple ordered most state agencies Monday to cut their budgets by an additional 2.5 percent to help offset a $310 million budget shortfall, intending for the rest to be covered with up to $100 million in Bank of North Dakota profits and draining a rainy day fund to zero. "We have faith that this bill will pass," the Republican governor told reporters as he outlined the plan crafted with leaders of the Legislature's GOP majority.
BISMARCK — North Dakota lawmakers will descend on the Capitol next week for only the 15th special session in state history, with leaders of both parties determined not to get sidetracked as they try to bridge a $310 million revenue gap by cutting budgets and shifting money around. "We're going to try to keep the focus very narrow," House Majority Leader Al Carlson said. Gov. Jack Dalrymple and leaders of the Legislature's Republican supermajority still hadn't released details last week of the budget fix they crafted the previous week.
BISMARCK—North Dakota legislative leaders are hoping for a straightforward three-day special session starting Tuesday. Here's how they see it unfolding: • Gov. Jack Dalrymple will address the House and Senate jointly after they convene at 9 a.m. Tuesday, setting the stage for the work ahead. • The Delayed Bills Committee will consider any introduced bills and likely move the governor's budget fix bill, sending it to the Senate.
BISMARCK — A rebound in North Dakota's oil tax collections could restore more than $7 million in oil impact grants that were suspended in February, but Land Commissioner Lance Gaebe said he won't recommend a wholesale restart of the program. "The best news is that we can fulfill the obligations we've already made in grants," he told the Board of University and School Lands on Thursday.
BISMARCK — Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem says a lawsuit brought by the North Dakota Farm Bureau seeking to overturn the state's anti-corporate farming law is so vague that the state can't properly respond to it, but a lawyer for the plaintiffs says the complaint is specific. The lawsuit filed June 2 in U.S. District Court in Bismarck claims the law passed by North Dakota voters in 1932 is unconstitutional and hurts farmers by limiting their ability to attract investment and secure financing and lowering the value of their farms.
BISMARCK — North Dakota's delegates to the Democratic National Convention awarded 14 votes to Bernie Sanders and seven votes to Hillary Clinton as she clinched the presidential nomination Tuesday, but the state's most prominent Democrat missed the roll-call vote because of a previous commitment, a spokeswoman said. U.S. Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, a superdelegate who signed a letter in 2013 urging Clinton to run for president and endorsed her last December, still "strongly supports" the former secretary of state for president, according to a statement from Heitkamp's office.
BISMARCK — It wasn't an all-time high, but North Dakota's state-owned flour mill posted a healthy $9.3 million profit in fiscal year 2016 as record shipment volumes helped offset tough wheat market conditions, President and General Manager Vance Taylor said Tuesday. The State Mill and Elevator in Grand Forks reported unaudited profits of $9,336,618 for the year ending June 30, down 44 percent from a record $16.7 million in fiscal year 2015.
BISMARCK — An updated study of housing needs in North Dakota projects the state's population will grow 20 percent by 2029, with the greatest increase coming in low-income households that will drive demand for affordable housing. "There still going to be some pretty significant needs in the low- and very low-income areas," said Jolene Kline, executive director of the North Dakota Housing Finance Agency.