North Dakota articles

North Dakota Governor Jack Dalrymple

Lawmakers Cut $1 Billion So Far From Dalrymple’s Executive Budget

Lawmakers Cut $1 Billion So Far From Dalrymple’s Executive Budget

The first half of the 2015 legislative session is over. The House and Senate chambers have each addressed every single bill put before them by their members, rejecting some and passing most. Lawmakers are now on a break until Wednesday next week. When they come back, what they’ll have to grapple with is a $178


State Board Of Higher Education Meeting Turns Into Nearly 5 Hour Hissy Fit

Yesterday the North Dakota House passed, by a wide margin, a budget for the university system which includes a more than $37 million increase in general fund appropriations and more than $95 million in one-time funding for building projects all for the 2015-2017 biennium. That’s a pretty generous increase in the amount of tax dollars


On Television: Subsidizing Empty Airplanes And Campaign Dollars For Personal Use

Last night was my weekly appearance on Chris Berg’s 6:30 Point of View program on Valley News Live, and we covered some of the stuff I’ve been writing about here on the blog. Berg played my clip of a floor debate which took place last week over legislation, introduced by Rep. Ben Hanson (D-Fargo) which


North Dakota House Takes Lawyers, Auditors Away From The University System

Over the last several months the North Dakota University System has had a nasty situation involving one of their former top lawyers, compliance officer Kirsten Franzen, and their former top auditor, Timothy Carlson. I say former for each because they were both fired. Carlson for allegedly lying on his resume to get hired, and Franzen


Video: ND Senate Passes Early Childhood Education Voucher Program

The early childhood education bill – SB2151 – which passed the state Senate today on a 33-14 vote is sort of a mixed bag. On one hand, the bills most outspoken proponents are the technocrats who seem to believe that the earlier we can stuff kids into the public education system assembly line the better


Your Tax Dollars Used To Subsidized Nearly Empty Airline Flights Right Here In North Dakota

I’ve written extensively about the federal government’s Essential Air Service program, and there’s nothing essential about it. It’s an anachronism from the 1970’s when the airlines were deregulated, and it’s basically subsidies for airlines to serve low-traffic rural airports. Last night Valley News Live covered the issue as well, including reports on the program here in


Higher Ed Board To Consider Asking Legislature For DSU Foundation Bailout

The most recent chapter in the on-going feud between lawmakers and North Dakota’s university system has to do with university foundations. These organizations like to think of themselves as private entities separate from public universities they serve, but Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem has ruled in legal opinions that they must adhere to open records laws,


Democrats Fight To Keep ND Gun Laws Complicated: “Bullets Don’t Discriminate”

A bill introduced by Rep. Ben Koppelman (R-Fargo) to allow politicians to carry concealed in public buildings failed on a narrow margin earlier this morning, but another bill he introduced to simplify gun laws and expand carry rights had more success. Democrats weren’t too enthused with it, but it passed on a largely party-line vote


ND Universities Spin Abysmal Graduation Rates By Counting Student Transfers

If there is one inconvenient fact you could point to which makes North Dakota’s university system officials foam at the mouth it’s pointing out the abysmal graduation rates for the state’s institutions of higher education. According to the Chronicle of Higher Education the graduation rate at the state’s eight four-year institutions was just 20.9 percent