While we hear much oratory about problems, we see limited accomplishment, primarily because the proposed solutions have been too conventional. There are quick solutions to knotty problems if we are willing to think creatively.
This sequester was supposed to happen at midnight on March 1. It reminded me of the night we crossed the Year 2000 and everyone stayed up to see if the computers in the world would explode and humanity would have to start collecting data all over again.
Four of the hottest social issues in state legislatures around the country in this lawmaking season are abortion, same-sex marriage, marijuana and guns. The North Dakota Legislature is having its share of these controversies in the current session.
The authority to initiate and refer laws, often called “direct democracy,” has been a constant irritant to the Legislature but, in fact, it has saved the assembly from some unpleasant job-threatening controversies.
Taking advantage of last year’s petition signature scandal, some legislators have proposed tightening up the procedure by which citizens can initiate laws, refer acts of the Legislature and amend the constitution.
It was only a matter of time before the new chancellor for higher education would start raising hackles in North Dakota. His assignment guaranteed it.
Sen. Tony Grindberg, R-Fargo, already has proposed that the appropriation bill for higher education include money to buy out Chancellor Hamid Shirvani’s three-year contract.
North Dakota is joining 33 other states in asking the federal government to waive the performance criteria required by the No Child Left Behind legislation signed into law in 2002. The law was a national effort to raise reading and math proficiency in public schools.
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