February 12, 2020 •

Executive Director of the North Dakota Ethics Commission Working on Ethics Rules

Executive Director David Theile - Forum News Service

David Thiele became the Executive Director of the newly formed Ethics Commission at the beginning of the year and chaired the first meeting of the commission January 22. Thiele, a Bismarck resident and former judge advocate for the U.S. Army, […]

David Thiele became the Executive Director of the newly formed Ethics Commission at the beginning of the year and chaired the first meeting of the commission January 22.

Thiele, a Bismarck resident and former judge advocate for the U.S. Army, said his background as an attorney and ethics counselor for the National Guard will help him establish ethics rules.

State law gives the commission nine months from its creation (April 2020) to take preliminary steps to create the new rules.

Thiele believes he can meet this goal, but noted the Commission will give members of the public a chance to comment and could ask for an extension, if necessary.

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October 8, 2019 •

State Representative Resigns from North Dakota Legislature

North Dakota Capitol Building

Rep. Jake Blum resigned from his District 42 seat on October 4, citing a move to Minnesota. Republicans in District 42 will select a replacement to fill the vacant seat. However, the replacement will not serve in the Legislature without […]

Rep. Jake Blum resigned from his District 42 seat on October 4, citing a move to Minnesota.

Republicans in District 42 will select a replacement to fill the vacant seat.

However, the replacement will not serve in the Legislature without winning a future election, since lawmakers will not meet in full session again until 2021 because of North Dakota’s biennial format.

The person selected will fill Blum’s committee assignments in the interim.

The next election for District 42 will be November 2020.

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August 12, 2019 •

Members Selected for North Dakota Ethics Commission

North Dakota Capitol Building

Gov. Doug Burgum and Senate leadership selected Ron Goodman, Ward Koeser, Cynthia Lindquist, Paul Richard, and David Anderson to North Dakota’s new state government ethics commission. The candidates verbally accepted their appointments after the selection meeting. Their terms will begin […]

Gov. Doug Burgum and Senate leadership selected Ron Goodman, Ward Koeser, Cynthia Lindquist, Paul Richard, and David Anderson to North Dakota’s new state government ethics commission.

The candidates verbally accepted their appointments after the selection meeting.

Their terms will begin on September 1, with Goodman and Lindquist serving four-year terms.

Anderson will serve a three-year term, and Koeser and Richard will serve two-year terms.

The selection committee chose Goodman as chairman to convene the commission’s first meeting in September.

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June 28, 2019 •

North Dakota Closer to Forming Ethics Commission

North Dakota Capitol Building

The Ethics Commission Selection Committee narrowed down the field of candidates from 24 to 17. However, the July 1 deadline is being pushed back. Gov. Doug Burgum stated there will be two more meetings in July to reach the final […]

The Ethics Commission Selection Committee narrowed down the field of candidates from 24 to 17.

However, the July 1 deadline is being pushed back.

Gov. Doug Burgum stated there will be two more meetings in July to reach the final five candidates.

In order to be appointed to the ethics commission, a candidate must be unanimously approved by the governor, senate majority leader, and senate minority leader.

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May 20, 2019 •

North Dakota Officials Prepare to Appoint Ethics Commission Members

North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum by Senior Master Sgt. David H Lipp

Top North Dakota officials are working towards forming a new panel to oversee ethical standards in state government as a result of last year’s passage of Measure 1. Gov. Doug Burgum’s office is accepting applications for the new ethics commission […]

Top North Dakota officials are working towards forming a new panel to oversee ethical standards in state government as a result of last year’s passage of Measure 1.

Gov. Doug Burgum’s office is accepting applications for the new ethics commission through May 24 and hopes to have members selected by July 1.

The five commissioners will be chosen by consensus agreement of the governor and the Senate’s majority and minority leaders.

The state constitution bars certain people from serving on the commission including lobbyists, political party officials, and those who hold statewide elected or appointed office.

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May 8, 2019 •

North Dakota Governor Signs Lobbying Bills

North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum by Senior Master Sgt. David H Lipp

Gov. Doug Burgum signed the last 53 bills remaining from the 2019 North Dakota legislative session, including House Bill 1521 and Senate Bill 2148. House Bill 1521 establishes an ethics commission to hold state elected officials and legislators accountable. The […]

Gov. Doug Burgum signed the last 53 bills remaining from the 2019 North Dakota legislative session, including House Bill 1521 and Senate Bill 2148.

House Bill 1521 establishes an ethics commission to hold state elected officials and legislators accountable.

The bill also requires a lobbyist who expends an amount greater than $200 for the purpose of lobbying to file a report with the Office of Secretary of State.

The report must include the source of the funds and prohibits a lobbyist from giving, soliciting, or facilitating a gift to a public official with a value of over $60.

Additionally, the bill requires any person who expends an amount greater than $200 to influence state government action file a report with the Office of Secretary of State on or before August 1.

The sections of House Bill 1521 establishing an ethics commission became effective on May 2, while the sections on report filing become effective on January 5, 2021.

Senate Bill 2148 requires the legislative management to study the implementation and requirements of Article XIV of the Constitution of North Dakota.

The study concerns the transparency of funding sources, lobbyists, responsibilities of the ethics commission, and a review of existing laws and laws enacted to implement Article XIV.

The legislative management must report its findings and recommendations to the 67th Legislative Assembly, with any legislation necessary to implement the recommendations.

Senate Bill 2148 becomes effective on August 1.

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April 18, 2019 •

Ethics Bill Progressing In North Dakota Legislature

The North Dakota Senate approved House Bill 1521 on Wednesday, April 17.

The bill would implement the state’s new ethics rules established by the voter’s passage of Measure 1 last year.

House Bill 1521 prohibits a lobbyist from giving, offering, soliciting, initiating, or facilitating a gift over $60 to a public official.

A lobbyist will also be required to file a report with the secretary of state if they spend more than $200 on lobbying.

The bill has been returned to the House for consideration before the end of the legislative session on April 26.

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February 13, 2019 •

North Dakota Legislators Debate How to Create an Ethics Commission

North Dakota lawmakers are dealing with dual proposals to create a state ethics commission, as required by the passage of Measure 1 in November. House Bill 1521 and Senate Bill 2148 have held multiple hearings, and several senators have proposed […]

North Dakota lawmakers are dealing with dual proposals to create a state ethics commission, as required by the passage of Measure 1 in November.

House Bill 1521 and Senate Bill 2148 have held multiple hearings, and several senators have proposed amendments to alter the definition of a lobbyist, while the House version prohibits public officials from accepting gifts from lobbyists valued at more than $60 per event.

The next hearings will take place on Thursday.

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November 15, 2018 •

Congressman-elect Resigns Current State Senate Seat

North Dakota Congressman-elect Kelly Armstrong resigned his District 36 seat in the State Senate. District 36 Republicans will nominate their replacement to finish the remaining two years of Armstrong’s term by November 30, 2018. Armstrong will replace Kevin Cramer in […]

North Dakota Congressman-elect Kelly Armstrong resigned his District 36 seat in the State Senate.

District 36 Republicans will nominate their replacement to finish the remaining two years of Armstrong’s term by November 30, 2018.

Armstrong will replace Kevin Cramer in the U.S. House of Representatives.

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October 25, 2018 •

North Dakota Ethics Policy Finalized

North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum finalized an ethics policy that applies to the governor, lieutenant governor, and employees of the governor’s office. According to the new policy, lobbyists who request a meeting with the governor’s office will be encouraged to […]

North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum finalized an ethics policy that applies to the governor, lieutenant governor, and employees of the governor’s office.

According to the new policy, lobbyists who request a meeting with the governor’s office will be encouraged to bring a principal of his or her client to the meeting. The policy also addresses conflicts of interests and gifts and honoraria.

No gift of any value may be accepted if offered with the intent to directly or indirectly influence the exercise of official action.

Any gift greater than $50 must be reported to the ethics officer and returned to the donor or given to charity.

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July 24, 2018 •

Anti-Corruption Measure to Appear on North Dakota Ballot

After gathering 38,451 signatures, an anti-corruption measure will appear on the November 6 ballot in North Dakota. If the measure is approved by voters, the ethics commission will be responsible for adopting rules related to elections, lobbying, and for reporting […]

After gathering 38,451 signatures, an anti-corruption measure will appear on the November 6 ballot in North Dakota.

If the measure is approved by voters, the ethics commission will be responsible for adopting rules related to elections, lobbying, and for reporting and investigating alleged violations of those rules and related state laws.

Additionally, the measure prohibits gifts from lobbyists, prohibits the delivery of campaign contributions by lobbyists, and creates a revolving door provision banning public officials from becoming lobbyists for two years after leaving office.

This is the first ballot measure to receive enough signatures to appear in front of voters this November.

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March 22, 2018 •

North Dakota Government Ethics Petition Approved

North Dakota Secretary of State Al Jaeger approved the format of a petition to amend the state constitution to include an independent ethics commission. If voters approve, the ethics commission would be responsible for adopting rules related to elections, lobbying, […]

North Dakota Secretary of State Al Jaeger approved the format of a petition to amend the state constitution to include an independent ethics commission.

If voters approve, the ethics commission would be responsible for adopting rules related to elections, lobbying, and for reporting and investigating alleged violations of those rules and related state laws.

Additionally, the measure prohibits gifts from lobbyists, prohibits the delivery of campaign contributions by lobbyists, restricts lobbying from former public officials, and restricts the use of campaign contributions, among other provisions.

Supporters of the petition have until July 9 to gather nearly 27,000 signatures to place the constitutional amendment on the November ballot.

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September 29, 2017 •

North Dakota Legislators to Sue Governor over Vetoes

A bipartisan group of lawmakers on the Legislative Management Committee voted 12-4 in favor of filing a lawsuit in North Dakota’s Supreme Court in response to Gov. Doug Burgum’s vetoes of legislation. Legislators are upset over the governor’s use of […]

A bipartisan group of lawmakers on the Legislative Management Committee voted 12-4 in favor of filing a lawsuit in North Dakota’s Supreme Court in response to Gov. Doug Burgum’s vetoes of legislation.

Legislators are upset over the governor’s use of his line-item veto to change parts of several spending bills, arguing that the intent of the legislation was changed by the deletion of the words and phrases.

Lawmakers argue their legislative authority to spend money has been violated, while the executive branch contends its executive authority is being violated by the challenge.

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May 5, 2017 •

North Dakota Campaign Finance Law Signed into Law

Senate Bill 2343 was signed into law in April to enhance campaign finance reporting requirements and restrict candidates from using campaign funds for personal expenses. The new law makes changes to the disclosure requirements for PACs and multicandidate political committees, […]

Senate Bill 2343 was signed into law in April to enhance campaign finance reporting requirements and restrict candidates from using campaign funds for personal expenses.

The new law makes changes to the disclosure requirements for PACs and multicandidate political committees, requiring them to file pre-election, supplemental, and annual reports.

Senate Bill 2343 also makes amendments to statements required by measure committees circulating or promoting passage or defeat of initiated or referred measures.

The law becomes effective February 1, 2018, for campaign years beginning after December 31, 2017.

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