5 things to know today: ban challenge, legislative session, Commission vote, subscription tuition, long-haul lawmakers
1. North Dakota University System Challenges Ban on Partnerships with Abortion Providers
Higher education leaders want state attorney general’s office to determine whether a law prohibiting public universities and colleges from associating with groups that support abortion is constitutional, arguing it violates laws that protect academic freedom.
North Dakota University System Chancellor Mark Hagerott sent the Senate Bill 2030 request for review on May 10.
Learn more about April Baumgarten from the Forum
2. Minnesota Legislative Session Comes To A End, Overtime And Potential Explosions Looming On The Horizon
Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz at the podium addressed reporters in St. Paul after he and legislative leaders, right, crafted a budget framework in the closing hours of the legislative session. (Dana Ferguson / Forum Press Service)
Minnesota lawmakers closed the 2021 legislative session this week with an interim budget deal and plenty of work to do before a June overtime session.
More than four months after the start of the session, lawmakers in the Senate and House of Representatives ended their official working period without passing a single budget bill. And in the absence of details, the “digital-only” deal has given way to explosions as lawmakers resume their unfinished work in task forces over the coming weeks.
Learn more about Dana Ferguson from Forum News Service
3. North Dakota Senators Kevin Cramer and John Hoeven signal January 6 committee no vote; Minnesota Sens. Amy Klobuchar and Tina Smith should support him
FILE PHOTO: A view of the US Capitol in Washington, DC, US on January 19, 2021. Susan Walsh / Pool via REUTERS / File Photo
The United States House of Representatives may have approved a commission to investigate the events of January 6, but the bill behind it has yet to be voted on in the Senate, where it receives a cold reception from the senators of North Dakota.
The GOP Sens. Kevin Cramer and John Hoeven have indicated they would likely vote against the bill that would create a commission to investigate the January 6 riot on the U.S. Capitol. Cramer stressed that he believes the regular and standing committees of Congress can solve the problem on their own. He also referred to hundreds of ongoing police investigations into individual acts on January 6.
4. It’s like Netflix for education: UND is considering a subscription-based tuition fee model
Jeffrey Holm, vice director of online education at UND, is pictured in this Herald file photo. Eric Hylden / Grand Forks Herald
The University of North Dakota wants to add a flat-rate subscription option to its tuition model.
Think of it like Netflix or Hulu – popular TV subscription services – but for UND education. Students can pay a fixed rate and take as many (or as few) online courses as they prefer, as long as they aren’t considered full-time degree-seeking students.
“You sign up, you have a subscription and during that subscription you can watch excessively,” said Jeff Holm, vice-provost for online training and strategic planning at UND.
Watch the story of Sydney Mook from Forum News Service
5. For lawmakers far from North Dakota, the legislative session is a 10 km commitment
Representative Corey Mock, a Democrat from Grand Forks, made 17 four-hour trips between Grand Forks and Bismarck, covering 10,000 miles on his Ford Expedition in the 2021 legislative session. Eric Hylden / Forum News Service
Serve in the North Dakota Legislature requires knowledge of the legislative process, strong public speaking skills, and careful attention to detail. But for members of Grand Forks, Williston and Wahpeton, the job also requires a valid driver’s license and a car that can be punished.
Representative Corey Mock’s Ford Expedition odometer climbed 10,031 miles during this year’s four-month legislative session. The vast majority of mileage was traveled on 17 round trips between the Democratic lawmaker’s home in Grand Forks and Bismarck, the state capital.
Learn more about Jeremy Turley from Forum News Service