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 — The North Dakota Supreme Court determined four out of five of Gov. Doug Burgum's vetoes challenged by state lawmakers are ineffective in a long-awaited decision issued Monday, July 30. But in a defeat for the Legislature, the court also said parts of two other bills were unconstitutional because they gave an interim legislative committee too much power. Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem, who defended Burgum, welcomed the decision in a statement released late Monday afternoon.
BISMARCK — Profits at the North Dakota Mill and Elevator soared to $14.2 million in the fiscal year that ended June 30, marking the third-largest haul in the operation's nearly 100-year history, according to information presented to state regulators Friday, July 27. The report showed a 46 percent jump over the previous fiscal year's profits. The state-owned flour mill hit a record $16.7 million in fiscal year 2015 before dipping below $10 million in each of the next two years.
BISMARCK — Five years after North Dakota lawmakers set aside millions in oil and gas tax revenues for conservation projects, leaders of outdoor groups said the program has been successful. North Dakota's Outdoor Heritage Fund, created amid booming state revenues thanks to rapid oil development, has helped finance 130 projects with $37 million through 11 grant rounds. The three-member Industrial Commission is preparing to consider another round of applications.
BISMARCK — Nearly a decade removed from Congress, former North Dakota Democratic Rep. Earl Pomeroy is eyeing a more permanent return to his home state — eventually. Pomeroy and his wife, Mary, split time between the Washington, D.C., area, where he works at a law firm focusing on "public policy advocacy," and North Dakota. The two have a home near family in Grand Forks, where Mary still fills in as a substitute teacher.
BISMARCK — Backed by rosy oil tax figures, North Dakota Republican lawmakers unveiled a $280 million plan to fund infrastructure projects outside of the state's oil patch Thursday, July 26. The proposal would add three "buckets" to the existing oil tax distribution structure. A $115 million pool would be dedicated to infrastructure in cities and another one would be set aside for counties and townships, while airports would have a $50 million bucket.
BISMARCK — Democratic U.S. Sen. Heidi Heitkamp maintains a wide fundraising lead over her Republican opponent Rep. Kevin Cramer, newly released federal records showed Wednesday, July 25. Heitkamp raised $1.1 million between May 24 and June 30, compared to the $833,000 Cramer collected in that same period. During this election cycle, Heitkamp has raised almost $11.3 million, while Cramer has raised almost $3.3 million, the Federal Election Commission records show.
BISMARCK — North Dakota agriculture and political leaders offered mixed reactions Tuesday, July 24, to the Trump administration's plans for up to $12 billion in aid meant to help farmers weather a storm of international trade disputes .
BISMARCK — North Dakota voters will decide whether to add anti-corruption language to the state's constitution this fall, Secretary of State Al Jaeger said Monday, July 23. The announcement marks the first ballot measure confirmed to have the sufficient number of signatures to reach voters on Nov. 6. Three others, including one legalizing recreational marijuana, have submitted signatures to Jaeger's office.
BISMARCK — North Dakota Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem filed a $38 million claim against the federal government Friday, July 20, marking another effort by state leaders to recover costs associated with the monthslong Dakota Access Pipeline protests.
BISMARCK — The number of students learning English as a second language in North Dakota schools has grown steadily in recent years, topping 4,100 this month, according to data presented to state lawmakers Thursday, July 19. Lodee Arnold, the state Department of Public Instruction's English learner program administrator, said the oil boom in western North Dakota helped drive statewide figures higher. In 2011-12, there were 3,634 English learners, according to her presentation, which dropped to 3,239 the next year before climbing to 3,885 in January.