Legislature

There are a number of challenges facing rural North Dakota. Over a series of upcoming posts on ND xPlains, I’d like to highlight some of those challenges including what may help mitigate some of the issues. The closing of rural ...

I’ve been critical of the power grabs and resilience to independent oversight in the latest North Dakota session. From constant complaints from legislators about being forced to create an ethics commission to changes to citizen-led measure it’s been frustrating. The ...

On May 1st, the Trump administration joined Republican-led states, including North Dakota, in asking a federal appeals court to entirely overturn the Affordable Care Act. Medicaid Expansion, gone. Payments for low-income individuals, gone. Federal protections for preexisting conditions, gone. North ...

The 2019 legislative session adjourned on the 76th day. In conversations with lawmakers and according to post-session reports in other media, a theme developed. Generally speaking, lawmakers felt the atmosphere was different this session compared to previous sessions. It begs ...

In the waning days of the 66th legislative session, lawmakers stripped away the State Auditor’s independence in fulfilling their duty. Instead of the Auditor being able to independently decided to undertake a performance audit on a state agency, the office ...

North Dakota Land Commissioner Jodi Smith recently revealed that $137 million was shorted from two constitutional funds dedicated to the state’s public schools. Days later, State Engineer Garland Erbele told a Senate committee that a third constitutional fund, the resources trust ...

How dare you, North Dakota voters. What was it you were thinking when you voted to create an ethics commission and provide additional transparency on lawmakers after they explicitly and repeatedly rejected it themselves? Better yet, why did you force ...

The Republican-led Legislature continues to push anti-voter changes to the citizen-led constitutional measure process. Their latest attempt would double the amount of required signatures needed to be placed on the ballot. It would also increase the approval threshold to 60% ...

Elected leaders in Bismarck claim “confusion” from voters make changes necessary when it comes to ballot measures. Because of that “confusion” our State Constitution has become “vulnerable” according to State Senators. Therefore, they continue to approve changes to the constitutional ...

What I’ve described as the most blatant, arrogant attempt by legislators to create additional barriers to voters’ power at the ballot box passed the ND Senate 31-16 on Presidents’ Day. Final passage in the Senate came after a unanimous 7-0 ...