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5 things to know today: Convention day, Home schooling, Dem picks, Tax credit, Age limits – InForum

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1. North Dakota Republicans vote to keep District 37 delegates at convention after attempt to oust them

North Dakota Republicans from District 37 weren’t kicked out of the state convention in Fargo, despite efforts to

send them packing in a contentious start

to the two-day endorsing event.

In a 611-815 vote, the floor denied an attempt on Friday, April 5, to exclude the delegates from the Dickinson-based district from the state GOP convention. With the vote, the party solidified which delegates could endorse federal and state candidates.

“Let 37 speak!” delegate John Odermann said in addressing the convention.

The vote was rooted in a complaint claiming District 37 improperly nominated delegates in early January to the state convention.

First reported on by Forum columnist Rob Port,

a group of Republicans, including District 37 members, signed and filed the complaint on March 24 with the party.

District 37 delegates were not allowed to vote on the motion to oust them because the challenge was about them.

Read more from The Forum’s April Baumgarten

2. North Dakota GOP supports homeschooling advocate over incumbent for public instruction superintendent

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Sue Koesterman, executive director of Churches United, looks over blueprints of changes to the shelter Micah’s Mission on Thursday, Jan. 5, 2024.

North Dakota Public Instruction Superintendent Kirsten Baesler has lost the support of the state Republican Party.

In a landslide vote, the state GOP convention voted Friday, April 5, to issue a letter of support to homeschool proponent Jim Bartlett of Bottineau over Baesler 967-426. The race is nonpartisan, meaning it doesn’t qualify for an endorsed spot on the ballot.

The candidates must collect signatures to appear on the June 11 primary election. The top two vote-getters in the race will move on to the general election.

The vote comes after Baesler has served in the position for nearly 12 years. She has received the letter of support at past GOP conventions.

Bartlett accused Baesler of allowing liberal ideas to guide the office. He promised to get Christianity back in the school, specifically the Ten Commandments, and root out “evil” ideas.

Read more from The Forum’s April Baumgarten

3. 2 candidates endorsed, Palestine proposal debated on day 1 of Dem-NPL convention

A banquet hall room is filled with tables and onlookers, with a stage in the distance at the front of the room.

Stock photo

Chris Flynn / The Forum

North Dakota’s Democratic-NPL party endorsed candidates for two statewide offices and weighed adding a provision to the party’s platform relating to the ongoing war between Israel and Hamas on the first day of its convention in Fargo.

Adam Goldwyn, the party’s state chair, said he was more than pleased with Friday’s turnout, with 309 delegates from across the state seated by mid-afternoon.

“We’re delighted to see the energy of all these Dems from the farthest corners of the state getting together to put our values forward and put some competition forward to the Republican supermajority,” Goldwyn said.

Grand Forks attorney Tim Lamb was endorsed for state auditor.

“In a one-party state where all levels of government from the Legislature to the governor to all state and federal offices are under control of one party, the duties of the state auditor become essential to maintaining honest and transparent governance,” Lamb said in his endorsement acceptance speech.

Read more from Forum News Service’s Tasha Carvell

4. North Dakota property tax credit application period closes with 138,000 households submitting

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North Dakota Tax Commissioner Brian Kroshus speaks during an event at the Capitol on March 22, 2024.

Michael Achterling / North Dakota Monitor

From the North Dakota Monitor via Forum News Service

About 138,000 North Dakota households applied for up to $500 off their residential property taxes by the Monday night deadline, Tax Commissioner Brian Kroshus said.

“It was finished with a rush of applications coming in right at the end,” he said.

Lawmakers created the program in 2023 to provide blanket property tax relief for homeowners across the state.

The office doesn’t have solid numbers on how many North Dakotans qualified, but Kroshus previously estimated the figure to be roughly 150,000 households. Most residents who own and occupy homes in North Dakota were eligible to apply.

In the coming months, the Office of State Tax Commissioner will communicate with North Dakota county governments with information about which property owners in their communities applied.

“They’ll each receive their own dataset, if you will,” Kroshus said. “They’ll be assisting in vetting the applications, as well.”

Homeowners who provided an email address with their applications can expect to receive notice this summer that their application was approved.

The agency will also be implementing a “lookup tool” that will allow people to monitor the status of their applications online. It’ll be a few months before that’s ready, though, Kroshus said.

Read more

5. Congressional age limits ballot measure could cost North Dakota $1M to defend in court, officials say

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The total solar eclipse reveals the sun’s corona as rays from the sun shoot out around the moon during the eclipse in 2017, viewed from Pawnee City, Nebraska.

Mary Steurer / North Dakota Monitor

From the North Dakota Monitor via Forum News Service

A group of lawmakers estimates that a proposed constitutional amendment to set an age limit for North Dakota’s members of Congress could cost the state around $1 million in legal fees if passed by voters.

The figure will appear with the proposed amendment on the June primary ballot.

Members of Legislative Management arrived at that number after hearing testimony from Deputy Chief Attorney General Claire Ness and Secretary of State Michael Howe at a Wednesday morning, April 3 meeting.

Since other states that have tried to set their own eligibility requirements for members of Congress have had the laws successfully challenged in federal court as unconstitutional, North Dakota should be prepared for a lawsuit should the amendment pass, Ness said.

“The federal courts have said that any way that you want to change the qualifications for somebody sitting in Congress would have to be done through an amendment to the U.S. Constitution,” she said.

But there are a lot of different ways such a challenge could play out — which means it’s difficult to ballpark how much money it’d take to defend the measure, Ness added.

The state would probably need to hire a special assistant attorney general to represent North Dakota in the suit, she said, which can be expensive.

Read more

Our newsroom occasionally reports stories under a byline of “staff.” Often, the “staff” byline is used when rewriting basic news briefs that originate from official sources, such as a city press release about a road closure, and which require little or no reporting. At times, this byline is used when a news story includes numerous authors or when the story is formed by aggregating previously reported news from various sources. If outside sources are used, it is noted within the story.





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