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 — Following last month’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling, North Dakota Tax Commissioner Ryan Rauschenberger said Wednesday, July 11, remote sellers must register and begin collecting state sales and use tax by Oct. 1.
BISMARCK — North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum has recommended against merging two Cabinet-level state agencies, arguing such a move wouldn't result in "meaningful" savings or operational efficiencies. In a report presented to state lawmakers Tuesday, July 10, Burgum said combining the Department of Financial Institutions and the Securities Department would "negatively impact service to citizens and businesses in our state." He cited each agency's "distinct regulatory policy objectives."
BISMARCK — A jubilant group of recreational marijuana supporters submitted an estimated 18,700 signatures to North Dakota Secretary of State Al Jaeger’s office Monday, July 9, hours ahead of the midnight deadline to ensure the measure could appear on the November ballot. The proposal’s backers need at least 13,452 signatures to ask voters to amend state law. Jaeger has 35 days to review the signatures.
BISMARCK — North Dakota could see millions of dollars in new revenue after the U.S. Supreme Court said Thursday, June 21, that states can require out-of-state retailers to collect sales tax. The 5-4 decision overruled a 1992 ruling in a case that originated in North Dakota. In Quill Corp. v. North Dakota, justices said the state couldn't compel the mail-order catalog business to collect sales tax.
BISMARCK — A month after the U.S. Supreme Court opened the door to sports betting across the country, North Dakota officials are still assessing their options. State lawmakers may take a crack at the issue when they meet again early next year, but it's unclear how much support sports gambling will have in the Legislature, which is currently dominated by Republicans. Just last year, lawmakers rejected the idea of casinos outside Native American reservations but approved electronic pull tabs.
BISMARCK — The head of the organization representing Minnesota tribal gaming interests downplayed the potential benefits of sports betting this week, a month after the U.S. Supreme Court allowed states to legalize the operations. But John McCarthy, executive director of the Minnesota Indian Gaming Association, said they're still studying the issue. "The proponents of sports betting are touting it as a panacea, this is the end-all of state budget woes," he said Tuesday, June 12. "That isn't the case. Sports betting (has) somewhat of a limited profit margin."
BISMARCK — North Dakota utility regulators approved a $25,000 fine against CenturyLink Wednesday, June 13, after the telecommunications company violated the state's One Call law a whopping 25,701 times in less than five months.
BISMARCK — State officials are exploring multiple proposals to use North Dakota's $5.4 billion Legacy Fund to help finance public infrastructure projects. Several legislators have already proposed using part of the voter-approved Legacy Fund to provide low-interest loans to local governments seeking to build flood control structures, water treatment plants and other infrastructure. But some, including Senate Majority Leader Rich Wardner, are hesitant to touch the fund's principal.
BISMARCK — A North Dakota judge dismissed a lawsuit accusing a security firm of operating here without a license during the Dakota Access Pipeline protests Wednesday, May 30. District Judge John Grinsteiner's order came a month after he dismissed one of three counts against North Carolina-based TigerSwan. On Wednesday, he said there's nothing left in the state Private Investigation and Security Board's complaint that's within the court's "purview."
BISMARCK — North Dakota utility regulators kicked off three days of hearings Wednesday, May 30, over Montana-Dakota Utilities' proposed natural gas rate hike. The company is proposing a 3.3 percent rate increase, amounting to a $3.6 million annual revenue boost. Residential customers could expect their bills to increase by $1.82 a month, MDU attorney Paul Sanderson said during a Public Service Commission hearing Wednesday.