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—A North Dakota Senate committee is seeking to study autonomous vehicle regulations as automakers asked legislators Thursday, March 23, to avoid hampering the technology's development. The Senate Transportation Committee gave a unanimous "do-pass" recommendation to a bill requiring the state Department of Transportation to work with the autonomous vehicle technology industry on a study of current laws on licensing, registration, insurance, data ownership and inspections. It would require the DOT to suggest any law changes to the next legislative assembly.
BISMARCK -- House lawmakers defeated a resolution opening the door to off-reservation casinos in North Dakota in convincing fashion Thursday, March 23. In a 28-63 vote, lawmakers shot down House Concurrent Resolution 3033, introduced by House Majority Leader Al Carlson, R-Fargo. The resolution was introduced to allow up to six state-owned casinos away from Native American reservations and the state's larger cities, but it was amended to allow no more than six private casinos at least 40 miles from the reservations with no other location restrictions.
BISMARCK -- The North Dakota Senate approved a resolution requesting the federal government reimburse the state for costs associated with the Dakota Access Pipeline protests Wednesday, March 22. House Concurrent Resolution 3011 was approved by a voice vote in the Senate. It has already passed the House. The resolution “extends appreciation” from the Legislature to President Donald Trump for expediting the approval of the easement required to build the pipeline under Lake Oahe.
BISMARCK—A Fargo man who led efforts to place the medical marijuana measure on the ballot floated the possibility of a lawsuit or another initiated measure in testifying against proposed changes to the law during a North Dakota legislative committee Tuesday, March 21. Rilie Ray Morgan, who chaired the committee that pushed the Compassionate Care Act, opposed a Senate bill that amends the law voters chose to put on the books in November.
BISMARCK—The North Dakota Senate stripped proposed governance changes from the Public Employees Retirement System budget bill Tuesday, March 21. The House passed a version of the bill last month that would have eliminated the nine-member retirement board and created the Public Employees Retirement System Office. It also would have established a seven-member board to advise the office's governor-appointed executive director, the governor and Legislative Management on the administration of PERS.
BISMARCK—North Dakota senators agreed to expand the state's distracted driving laws Monday, March 20. The Senate passed House Bill 1430, introduced by House Minority Leader Corey Mock, D-Grand Forks, in a 37-9 vote. It passed the House last month.
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.