Author Archives: Rob Port


Senate Approves Keystone XL Pipeline With 62 Votes

Senate Approves Keystone XL Pipeline With 62 Votes

A bi-partisan majority of Senators voted to approve legislation to authorize the long-delayed Keystone pipeline project. All 53 Senate Republicans voted in favor of the bill, along with 9 Democrats (including North Dakota’s Heidi Heitkamp who voted for final passage of the bill despite playing some partisan games with amendments). So what happens next? The


North Dakota Roughrider Award Winner Louise Erdrich Trashes Oil Boom

The Theodore Roosevelt Roughrider Award “recognizes present or former North Dakotans who have been influenced by this state in achieving national recognition in their fields of endeavor, thereby reflecting credit and honor upon North Dakota and its citizens,” according to the state website. Those honored with the award are selected by the Governor with concurrence


North Dakota Lawmakers Take Aim At Abuse Of Companion Animal Exemptions

I don’t know about the rest of you, but lately I’ve been noticing a lot of people abusing exemptions for companion animals. Whether it’s people bringing their animals on airplanes, or people getting their pets into supposedly pet-free apartments, we’ve gotten a little carried away. It’s one thing if the animals exist to to help

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It’s Time For North Dakota’s Oil Tax Reformers To Say “I Told You So”

Earlier today North Dakota lawmakers announced a revenue projection that is much more pessimistic than the one Governor Jack Dalrymple used for his budget address in December. It’s being widely reported that the projection would reduce state revenues by more than $4 billion, but there aren’t a lot of details about where that hammer is


Lawmakers See Falling Oil Prices Costing The State $4 Billion

Many observers, including this one, felt Governor Jack Dalrymple was being entirely too optimistic when he released his executive budget. “We expect revenues to continue to exceed on-going expenditures,” he said during his budget address back in December, but then proposed what he described as “ambitious” spending increases. His executive budget increases on-going state spending


Heidi Heitkamp Helping Partisan Democrats Hold Keystone Bill Hostage

When Republicans won control of the U.S. Senate they promised a return to regular order for business in that chamber. Which is to say that unlike the Senate under Democrat control, the minority party would be afforded an opportunity to offer and debate amendments to bills before they’re moved to a vote. The first bill


On Television: School Choice, NDUS Hypocrisy And Guns In Schools

Here’s the video from my weekly segment with Chris Berg on Valley News Live from last night. It’s split into two segments as Rep. Mark Dosch (R-Bismarck) was supposed to be on to discuss school choice in the first segment but due to technical difficulties didn’t make it until the second. So I ended up

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Video: North Dakota House Defeats Amendment Exempting E-Cigs From Tobacco Tax

Next week the House Judiciary Committee will be hearing testimony on three separate bills related to e-cigarettes, but lawmakers got a preview of that debate today when the Finance and Taxation Committee kicked out an amendment to HB1133 which sought to exempt e-cigarettes and related products from tobacco taxes. The original bill, introduced at the