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—Carryover funding for the North Dakota Children's Health Insurance Program will keep it sustained until May 2018, a state Department of Human Services spokeswoman said. The program covers nearly 2,800 North Dakota children whose families can't afford health insurance for them but earn too much to qualify for Medicaid. Federal funding for the program expired at the end of September, and Congress hasn't yet reauthorized it.
BISMARCK — North Dakota state employees gave mixed reviews in a wide-ranging survey about their jobs and workplace, according to results provided to reporters Friday, Dec. 15. More than 3,800 employees in cabinet-level agencies responded to the survey, which was conducted anonymously in October. Employees gave a 76 percent score for the "overall" category of questions, representing the rate of favorable responses.
THEODORE ROOSEVELT NATIONAL PARK — A pack of horses roamed a snow-covered field on the eastern edge of Theodore Roosevelt National Park on a recent afternoon, not far from where the landscape transforms into the rugged Badlands of western North Dakota. The natural scenery was contrasted by vehicles whizzing by on Interstate 94 nearby. A rail facility near Fryburg was clearly visible in the background. Now conservationists are fighting what they fear will be an unwelcome sight on the park's doorstep: an oil refinery.
BISMARCK — A federal judge issued a preliminary injunction Thursday, Dec. 14, preventing the state of North Dakota from enforcing a new law dubbed by supporters as a "farm equipment dealer bill of rights." U.S. District Judge Daniel Hovland said "common sense dictates that the law cannot stand constitutional muster" because it applies retroactively, prohibits arbitration clauses in contracts and conflicts with previous decisions involving similar legislation. He said Senate Bill 2289 can't be enforced in order to preserve the status quo while the case is pending.
BISMARCK — The North Dakota Supreme Court is giving Gov. Doug Burgum's office a month to respond to a petition filed by state lawmakers challenging several of his vetoes. Supreme Court Clerk Penny Miller said Thursday, Dec. 14, that justices asked for a response by Jan. 16. The Legislature filed its petition Friday, asking the court to determine the vetoes' legal effect.
BISMARCK—North Dakota's tax commissioner said Thursday, Dec. 14, that his office is not expected to finish examining how congressional tax cut efforts will affect state revenues until next week "at the earliest." House and Senate lawmakers reached a deal on a final bill Wednesday after each chamber passed its own version in recent weeks. Republicans hope to send a package to President Donald Trump by Christmas.
BISMARCK — Several people urged the North Dakota Department of Health to quickly implement the state's new medical marijuana program during a public hearing on proposed rules Wednesday, Dec. 13, at the state Capitol.
BISMARCK — A combative Bismarck attorney and failed North Dakota Supreme Court candidate who was admonished for alleging members of the judiciary had worked to hide public records called the disciplinary process a "farce" after taking his case to the state's highest court Wednesday, Dec. 13.
BISMARCK — North Dakota lawmakers petitioned the state Supreme Court Friday morning, Dec. 8, challenging several vetoes Gov. Doug Burgum issued after the Legislature adjourned this year. House and Senate leaders from both parties asked the court to determine "whether the governor exceeded his constitutional authority in making select partial vetoes." The document, provided by the governor's office, points to Burgum's vetoes on parts of four budget bills funding higher education, the Department of Commerce, the State Water Commission and the Department of Trust Lands.
BISMARCK — North Dakota's tax commissioner predicted Thursday, Dec. 7, state revenues would take a hit under Republican tax overhaul efforts moving through Congress, but his office is still analyzing the legislation's effects. The Senate voted Wednesday to move into a conference committee with the House to work out differences in the legislation each chamber has already passed. Republican lawmakers hope to get a bill to President Donald Trump by Christmas.