August 27, 2020 •

North Dakota Supreme Court Removes Measure 3 from November Ballot

North Dakota State Capitol

North Dakota State Capitol - By Bobak Ha'Eri

The North Dakota Supreme Court granted a writ of injunction to keep Measure 3 off the ballot. In a unanimous ruling, the justices enjoined Secretary of State Al Jaeger from placing the initiated measure on the ballot. The measure seeks […]

The North Dakota Supreme Court granted a writ of injunction to keep Measure 3 off the ballot.

In a unanimous ruling, the justices enjoined Secretary of State Al Jaeger from placing the initiated measure on the ballot.

The measure seeks to amend the North Dakota Constitution concerning elections and legislative districting, referencing the North Dakota Century Code.

Additionally, it does not comply with the constitutional requirement to contain the full text of the measure.

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August 25, 2020 •

North Dakota Ethics Commission Will Have Public Hearing on Proposed Rules

North Dakota State Capitol

North Dakota State Capitol - By Bobak Ha'Eri

The North Dakota Ethics Commission announced it will hold a public hearing to address proposed rules. The hearing will take place at 9:00 a.m. on September 15. The proposed rules implement Article XIV of the North Dakota Constitution relating to […]

The North Dakota Ethics Commission announced it will hold a public hearing to address proposed rules.

The hearing will take place at 9:00 a.m. on September 15.

The proposed rules implement Article XIV of the North Dakota Constitution relating to allowable gifts between lobbyists and public officials and may be reviewed at  https://www.ethicscommission.nd.gov/.

Written or oral comments may be submitted to 101 Slate Drive, Suite #4, Bismarck, North Dakota, 58503, or via email to ethicscommmission@nd.gov.

All comments received by September 29 will be considered.

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August 13, 2020 •

Group Seeks to Block Measure 3 from November Ballot in North Dakota

elections

North Dakota Secretary of State Al Jaeger confirmed a third measure to be on the November ballot. Measure 3, a constitutional amendment put forth by Fargo-based North Dakota Voters First, makes several changes to election procedures. This amendment creates paper […]

North Dakota Secretary of State Al Jaeger confirmed a third measure to be on the November ballot.

Measure 3, a constitutional amendment put forth by Fargo-based North Dakota Voters First, makes several changes to election procedures.

This amendment creates paper record and audit requirements for ballots; requires ballots to be sent to military and overseas voters at least 61 days before an election; and makes the Ethics Commission responsible for state legislative redistricting procedures.

The amendment would also introduce an open primary system in which all candidates, regardless of party, would appear on a single ballot.

This would also have the top four candidates advancing to the general election.

A ranked-choice vote would decide the winner.

Additionally, if implemented, North Dakota would become only the second state in the country, after Maine, to employ a statewide ranked-choice system.

A North Dakota-based 501(c)(4) called Brighter Future Alliance is challenging the measure’s eligibility for the ballot.

The alliance is seeking a writ of injunction from the North Dakota Supreme Court prohibiting Jaeger from placing Measure 3 on the November 2020, general election ballot.

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May 7, 2020 •

Lawsuit Filed in North Dakota Redistricting Case

North Dakota State Capitol

North Dakota State Capitol - By Bobak Ha'Eri

The Office of the North Dakota Secretary of State approved a petition for a proposed constitutional amendment. This amendment will make several changes to election procedures, and make the Ethics Commission responsible for state legislative redistricting procedures. The Legislature is […]

The Office of the North Dakota Secretary of State approved a petition for a proposed constitutional amendment.

This amendment will make several changes to election procedures, and make the Ethics Commission responsible for state legislative redistricting procedures.

The Legislature is responsible for redrawing district lines every 10 years following each U.S. Census and is scheduled to do so again in 2021.

The group proposing the measure, North Dakota Voters First, will need to obtain signatures of 4% of eligible voters by July 6 to get the proposal on the ballot in November.

The group has now filed a lawsuit against Secretary of State Al Jaeger in U.S. District Court claiming it should be allowed to collect electronic signatures during the pandemic.

The state law requiring petition circulators to collect necessary signatures in-person is unrealistic and dangerous.

Additionally, the inability to get the measure on the ballot this year would mean the current redistricting rules stay in place for another decade.

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May 5, 2020 •

North Dakota Ethics Commission Website Is Live

North Dakota Capitol

North Dakota Capitol Building

The North Dakota Ethics Commission website is now live. The website, ethicscommission.nd.gov, includes board information, meeting minutes, and complaint forms. At a recent meeting, the five-member board also discussed reconciling perceived conflicts in constitutional and statutory language related to commission […]

The North Dakota Ethics Commission website is now live.

The website, ethicscommission.nd.gov, includes board information, meeting minutes, and complaint forms.

At a recent meeting, the five-member board also discussed reconciling perceived conflicts in constitutional and statutory language related to commission procedures; additionally, they reviewed proposed 2021 ethics legislation covering legislators and executive branch officials.

The next meeting is scheduled in an online format for May 13.

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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

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

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

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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