BISMARCK -- Abortion opponents urging the Legislature to adopt new laws to regulate abortion say the measures "are just common sense." But as the debate lingered on for about six hours Wednesday, two Democrats on a House committee expressed concern about the problems the state may face if the bills are enacted. "We're moving into territory that's brand new and asserting ourselves into people's lives and decision-making," said Rep.
BISMARCK -- Locked out employees would not receive unemployment benefits under an amendment added Monday to a state Job Service bill. The amendment was offered to House Bill 1112 by a 5-2 vote in the Senate Industry, Business and Labor Committee. Committee Chairman Sen. Jerry Klein, R-Fargo, said the amendment, "is providing clarity to get back to where we thought the law was." He is among those who says they believed the current law regarding unemployment benefits does not include locked out employees. But a recent state Supreme Court ruling said American Crystal Sugar Co.
BISMARCK -- After House amendments changed the makeup of the new K-12 funding formula, Gov. Jack Dalrymple is urging the Senate to go back to the original proposal. Dalrymple said Tuesday House Bill 1319 provides the best option for the Legislature to provide more equitable funding to school districts and give property owners some of their money back. "The governors office believes the school district mill levy is the best place and best way for the state to provide property tax relief," he told a joint session of the Senate Education and Finance and Taxation Committees.
BISMARCK -- House Majority Leader Al Carlson of Fargo said Friday he is open to contributing more state funds toward the Fargo-Moorhead Area Diversion Project, though whether the project will be able to make use of the money remains in doubt. Carlson met with Fargo city officials this week to hear their concerns about amendments he had proposed to the State Water Commission budget, House Bill 1020, which includes money for the flood protection plan. After the meeting, Carlson said he thinks the Senate Appropriations Committee will alter his original amendments.
BISMARCK -- The Legislature could provide $15 million a year for statewide conservation efforts, or voters can opt for a $100 million fund. Either way, both legislative proposals brought a mixed group of more than 80 people, some in suit and ties, others in camouflage and blaze orange vests, to the Capitol on Thursday morning with a majority voicing their approval of the idea. Both would create an Outdoor Heritage Fund to provide grants to various organizations for outdoor conservation projects. Lt. Gov. Drew Wrigley, speaking on behalf of Gov.
BISMARCK -- Lawmakers are asking to study the economic impact around the Theodore Roosevelt National Park to determine the best practice for sustaining and enhancing the areas' tourism and recreation as well as oil and gas development. Sen. Jim Dotzenrod, D-Wyndmere, has introduced Senate Concurrent Resolution 4029 as a way to address the state's rapidly expanding oil boom that he says could infringe on the outdoor recreation and experience of the park. "Are our future generations going to be able to see what we see?" he said.
BISMARCK - Lawmakers are asking to study the economic impact around the Theodore Roosevelt National Park to determine the best practice for sustaining and enhancing the areas' tourism and recreation as well as oil and gas development. Sen. Jim Dotzenrod, D-Wyndmere, has introduced Senate Concurrent Resolution 4029 as a way to address the state's rapidly expanding oil boom that he says could infringe on the outdoor recreation and experience of the park. "Are our future generations going to be able to see what we see?" he said.
BISMARCK -- North Dakota voters could decide if they want to require more signatures and a more statewide approach when citizens want to put issues up to statewide vote. Rep. Al Carlson, R-Fargo, has introduced House Concurrent Resolution 3011, which would require any citizen initiated measure that would potentially cost more than $20 million, should it pass, to be placed on a general election ballot. Measures with less than a $20 million impact could still be put on a primary or general election ballot.
BISMARCK -- Lawmakers would like to see more cash in college students pockets by urging schools to move to a cheaper open textbook option, or online book, rather than the traditional printed book. North Dakota students are currently paying an estimated $900 per semester on textbooks, according to the North Dakota University System. Moving to an open textbook could save a student 80 percent, or $720. Rep.
BISMARCK -- As the Legislature headed into a mid-session break, House Majority Leader Al Carlson highlighted progress on property tax relief, infrastructure and setting aside money for a rainy day. "Three things that were very important to us going in and we have every intention of continuing doing that," the Fargo Republican said. But the Democratic Party sees the first half differently.