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.
- Member for
- 6 years 6 months
BISMARCK -- The North Dakota House agreed to prevent public employers from inquiring about a job applicant's criminal history until they have been selected for an interview Thursday, Jan. 24. House Bill 1282 is meant to give people with a criminal record a "second chance," said Republican Rep. Vernon Laning, who didn't sponsor the bill but supported it during a short floor debate. He said state corrections officials testified that an inability to "obtain meaningful employment was one of the biggest reasons for recidivism."
BISMARCK — Democratic lawmakers in the North Dakota Legislature have introduced a bill allowing the state’s college students to use a university-issued identification to vote. House Bill 1479 would require colleges and universities to provide students with an identification card that could be scanned by a polling clerk to access their address in the state's central voter file, but IDs issued to students younger than 18 years old or noncitizens must appear "significantly" different. The bill was scheduled to have its first hearing Thursday, Jan. 24.
BISMARCK — North Dakota lawmakers would be reimbursed by taxpayers for meals during the legislative session under a bipartisan bill that supporters said is partly a response to new state ethics rules. House Bill 1505 comes with an estimated two-year price tag of nearly $401,500 and allows lawmakers to claim meal reimbursement for each day during organizational, special and regular legislative sessions.
BISMARCK — The North Dakota Legislature re-opened the debate on banning discrimination based on sexual orientation Wednesday, Jan. 23, as supporters who again urged lawmakers to add LGBT protections to state law were turned down by a Senate committee that refused to endorse a proposed bill. But the head of the Senate Judiciary Committee later said she expected the panel to consider bill amendments.
BISMARCK — A parade of groups representing local governments, farmers and highway builders pushed for a seven-cent bump in North Dakota’s gas tax to pay for road projects Tuesday, Jan. 22. Sen. Larry Luick, R-Fairmount, said he’s been “inundated” with requests from constituents who want to raise the 23-cent-per-gallon gas tax to improve road conditions. The state tax hasn’t been raised since 2005, and the federal tax of 18.4-cents-per-gallon hasn’t increased since 1993.
BISMARCK — The North Dakota Senate narrowly agreed to tighten the state's enforcement of its seat belt laws Tuesday, Jan. 22, one day after the bill failed in a tie vote. Senate Bill 2060 overcame arguments in favor of preserving personal freedoms and passed in a 24-23 vote, and it now moves to the House. Grand Forks Republican Sen. Scott Meyer, who was absent during Monday's debate, asked his colleagues to reconsider their decision. Meyer said he wore a seat belt when he crashed about 20 years ago while helping his dad during harvest.
BISMARCK — North Dakota legislative leaders have introduced a bill that would require the state-owned bank to provide interest-free loans to federal workers affected by the partial government shutdown. Senate Bill 2357 was introduced ahead of a deadline for submitting bills Monday, Jan. 21. It requires the Bank of North Dakota to expedite the "short-term loans and make the loans regardless of credit history."
BISMARCK — Abortion opponents urged North Dakota lawmakers to require physicians to inform women that it's possible to reverse a drug-induced procedure Monday, Jan. 21, a claim that the head of the state’s sole abortion clinic said isn't backed by science.
BISMARCK -- North Dakota senators defeated a bill tightening enforcement of seat belt use in a tie vote Monday, Jan. 21. A bill allowing police officers to pull over unbuckled drivers in most vehicles failed in a 23-23 vote, with a bill cosponsor being the only lawmaker absent.
BISMARCK -- North Dakota lawmakers would meet in regular session more frequently under proposals introduced in the state Legislature. Lawmakers currently meet during odd-numbered years, but some argue moving to annual sessions would allow them to be more responsive on budget and policy matters. The state constitution limits lawmakers to 80 days in regular session every two years.