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Why Don’t We Trust Journalists Anymore?

Today I hosted “News and Views with Joel Heitkamp” on KFGO 790AM based in Fargo, ND. I had hoped to have some time to talk about the subject of a FiveThirtyEight article sent to me this week but ran out of time. The article interprets a Gallup poll that shows Americans basically have little to no trust […]

Don’t Expect WSI Changes Anytime Soon

I’ve had a few readers send me an article written by Patrick Springer of the Fargo Forum. Yesterday, Springer’s article, “Firefighter’s battle turns from catastrophic stroke to workers’ comp cuts” left many people angry and shaking their heads. Springer has done great work covering Workforce Safety and Insurance (WSI) over the years, and this article is […]

Retention Bonuses and Cabinet Appointments

Remember those Jack Dalrymple retention bonuses during the 2013-2015 biennium? The rather large bonuses given out to his staff to the sum of approximately $100,000 caused a bit of a stink across the state. Legislators from both parties pushed back on the decision claiming these bonuses were excessive. During the GOP Gubernatorial primary, both Wayne Stenehjem and Doug […]

Legislature May Debate Two Budgets Next Session

Last week we informed readers that legislative leadership seemingly rejected Governor Dalrymple’s final budget before leaving office later this week. Legislators can go ahead and say they “delayed” action on Dalrymple’s budget all they want. This language is likely to save face. I’m told members of the Dalrymple cabinet immediately went to the Attorney General’s office for an opinion on the […]

Legislature Rejects Dalrymple Budget

At 10:00 am today, Republican Governor Jack Dalrymple presented his final budget to the Legislative Assembly. As you likely know, Dalrymple decided to not seek another term. Doug Burgum will take over later in the month. The budget has been met with mixed reviews from those I’ve talked to. For the short glance I’ve had the opportunity to […]

Smart Oversight is Long Overdue

It is long past due for the State of North Dakota to be smart about energy oversight. On December 6th an oil pipeline leak was discovered near Belfield, ND. The “significant” leak that impacted a tributary of the Little Missouri River was found by a landowner according to reports. Sound familiar? It should. One of the […]

Organizational Session Begins in Bismarck

Today starts the three-day Organizational Session for the 65th Legislature. Three days of computer training, learning the basic division of powers, and understanding your role as a legislator. Seems rather boring, right? Here is why you need to pay attention: committee assignments are decided at this session, and that greatly impacts the outcome of legislation. […]

Heitkamp Proves Rural Moderate Impact

To the surprise of many, breaking news yesterday revealed President-elect Donald Trump has called on U.S. Senator Heidi Heitkamp to visit with him at Trump Tower in New York City. According to national reports, the transition team is considering Heitkamp for either the Department of Interior or Energy. Either position would give North Dakota a strong […]

The Local Attack on Teacher Unions

The attacks on teacher unions are not new to politics. With President-elect Trump’s Department of Education nomination of Betsy DeVos, I don’t see that trend ending anytime soon. However, we don’t need to look to Washington to see the backhanded attempts to diminish the role of teacher unions in education policy. We can look at what is […]