Featured Articles in Regional Politics

Wyoming lawmakers toy with overhauling utility commission to buoy coal

Wyoming utility regulators may soon be in for a wild ride.   For decades, the Wyoming Public Service Commission has upheld an unequivocal mission: “provide safe and reliable service to customers at just and reasonable rates.”   It’s a mantra that state regulators repeatedly declared Tuesday when testifying before the Joint Minerals, Business and Economic Development Committee.   Read More…

Gov. Doug Burgum announces reelection campaign

Gov. Doug Burgum and Lt. Gov. Brent Sanford are running for reelection. The duo announced their campaign in a video released early Thursday morning, Oct. 24. “North Dakota is certainly headed in the right direction,” Burgum said during the two-minute plus video. “Jobs are up, wages are higher, unemployment is down, young people are staying.” Read More…

All in: Regional Politics

Wyoming lawmakers toy with overhauling utility commission to buoy coal

Wyoming utility regulators may soon be in for a wild ride.   For decades, the Wyoming Public Service Commission has upheld an unequivocal mission: “provide safe and reliable service to customers at just and reasonable rates.”   It’s a mantra that state regulators repeatedly declared Tuesday when testifying before the Joint Minerals, Business and Economic Development Committee.   Read More…

Gov. Doug Burgum announces reelection campaign

Gov. Doug Burgum and Lt. Gov. Brent Sanford are running for reelection. The duo announced their campaign in a video released early Thursday morning, Oct. 24. “North Dakota is certainly headed in the right direction,” Burgum said during the two-minute plus video. “Jobs are up, wages are higher, unemployment is down, young people are staying.” Read More…

Wyoming legislators look at redistricting

CASPER – At the close of the 2020 census, Wyoming’s lawmakers – like those in half the states around the nation – will sink their teeth into the arduous task of drawing up the legislative districts that will decide the landscape of the state’s elections over the next decade. The Joint Committee on Corporations, Elections Read More…

Senator John Thune Visits Large Ethanol Producer

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – Officials say 40 percent of South Dakota’s corn supply is used for ethanol production. Today Senator John Thune visited one of the world’s largest producers of ethanol following a big announcement from the Trump Administration. Last week the administration announced plans to implement new rules that will increase demand for ethanol, which Read More…

Bismarck senator wants to look at companies buying up North Dakota mobile home parks

BISMARCK, N.D. – Sen. Dick Dever, R-Bismarck, is asking Legislative Management, which handles the interim committee work for legislators, to consider a new study this interim over concerns about mobile home parks around the state being bought by capital investment firms. Utah-based Havenpark Capital purchased two Bismarck parks- Colonial Estates and Holiday Park, in July. Dever Read More…

The North Dakota Chief Justice is making history

Have you ever wondered who’s working hard inside the state capitol? I’m talking about the heavy hitters, those making decisions year-round. One of those people is Chief Justice Gerald VandeWalle. VandeWalle is the longest-serving Supreme Court chief justice in the state’s history and the longest-serving of all the active justices in the United States. “I Read More…

Wyoming’s governor approached Mexico about coal export possibilities

Wyoming Gov. Mark Gordon contacted the Mexican government about the possibility of using the country’s ports to export the state’s coal to markets overseas, an official with the Mexican consulate’s office in Denver said Tuesday. At a forum hosted by the Wyoming Business Alliance in Casper, Consul General Berenice Rendón-Talavera told the audience that the Read More…

Judge blocks new North Dakota abortion law, finds it violates physicians’ constitutional protections against ‘compelled speech’

BISMARCK — A federal judge blocked the state of North Dakota from enforcing a new law requiring physicians to inform patients that it may be possible to reverse a drug-induced abortion Tuesday, Sept. 10, ruling that it violates doctors’ First Amendment protections against “compelled speech.” U.S. District Judge Daniel Hovland sided with the American Medical Read More…

Burgum names new policy director

BISMARCK — North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum named Jace Beehler as his new policy director Thursday, Aug. 29. Beehler will take over for Levi Bachmeier, who took a new job as business manager for West Fargo Public Schools. Beehler is currently a policy adviser for the Republican governor. READ FULL STORY

Vote for stricter trespass laws fails

CHEYENNE – An effort to change the state’s trespass laws to punish violators even if they were unaware they were on private property failed to make it out of committee Thursday. The Wyoming Legislature’s Joint Judiciary Interim Committee voted 8-6 against supporting the proposed legislation, which would have removed language that trespass laws only apply Read More…

Wyoming is committed to a ‘citizen legislature.’ But the format can limit who is able to participate.

Just before the close of the 2019 legislative session in Cheyenne, Rep. Landon Brown — then a 32-year-old staffer in the state’s Department of Environmental Quality — was contemplating resignation.   The Legislature was approaching concurrence on a bill to raise its $109 per diem rates for some lawmakers that, thanks to a late amendment Read More…

Wyoming governor settles 2016 lawsuit he filed as treasurer against state

Gov. Mark Gordon announced Thursday that he would be ending a legal proceeding he initiated as state treasurer in 2016 over that office’s authority to approve contracts related to the state capitol building construction project.   Gordon’s suit challenged the 2014 legislation that created the Capitol Building Rehabilitation and Restoration Oversight Group — the entity Read More…

North Dakota House energy committee chairman says business relationship with lobbyist unrelated to legislative work

The chairman of the North Dakota House’s energy committee recently defended a business relationship with the state’s top oil and gas lobbyist.   Mandan Republican Rep. Todd Porter and North Dakota Petroleum Council President Ron Ness are both listed in state records as partners in a commercial real estate investment group. Porter owns 5% of Read More…

South Dakota universities to ask for $91 million in ‘high-priority’ projects

South Dakota may only be half way through 2019, but the state’s public university system is looking two years into the future. Universities and schools under the South Dakota Board of Regents asked for almost $91.2 million to complete what they deemed as “high-priority projects” in 2021 at Wednesday’s board meeting through informal budget hearings. The Read More…

Panel advances two dozen candidates for North Dakota’s first ethics commission

BISMARCK — A panel charged with selecting members of North Dakota’s new state government ethics commission identified two dozen candidates for further consideration during a meeting at the state Capitol Friday, June 21. Members of the selection committee, composed of Gov. Doug Burgum and the Senate’s majority and minority leaders, each brought their own list Read More…

Former GOP Rep. Cynthia Lummis files to run for Wyoming Senate seat

Former Wyoming Rep. Cynthia Lummis (R) on Thursday officially filed to run for outgoing Sen. Mike Enzi’s (R-Wyo.) seat in 2020. Lummis, a former member of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, previously represented the Equality State as the state’s lone House representative, but opted not to seek reelection in 2016. Enzi, 75, in May announced his plans to retire from Read More…

Senators Cramer, Daines introduce constitutional amendment allowing Congress to ban flag desecration

BISMARCK, N.D. – On Flag Day, senators Kevin Cramer, R-N.D., and Steve Daines, D-Mont., introduced a constitutional amendment that would allow Congress to prohibit the desecration of the American flag. In a press release Friday, Cramer said “A flag worth dying for is a flag worth protecting. While we should always be mindful of First Amendment rights, Read More…

North Dakota Democrats chair one interim committee, call it ‘unfortunate’

State lawmakers finalized the interim committee assignments today. The groups will look at various issues over the next 18 months, but today’s meeting might have created another one. Democrats wanted to chair three or four committees and ended up with one. House Minority leader Josh Boschee, D-Fargo, says they had an agreement with republican leadership. Read More…

CHEYENNE MAYOR ACCUSES WYOMING GOVERNOR OF ‘TEMPER TANTRUM’; GORDON ‘OFFENDED’

Cheyenne Mayor Marian Orr is accusing Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon of using profane and misogynistic language toward her in an effort to intimidate her during a meeting on Friday. Gordon responded Monday that Orr mischaracterized the meeting, although he apologized for using an obscenity. “At no time during the conversation was I standing up or using Read More…