Roughrider Roundup – February 7, 2022

Happy Monday!

Dear Fellow Republicans,

We wanted to provide you with a roundup of everything you might have missed from North Dakota’s great Republican leaders this past week. Please share with family and friends!

– Perrie Schafer, NDGOP Chairman


On Thursday morning the capital city’s Seventh Street artery and an interstate ramp were closed for a motorcade that stretched close to a mile long. The procession escorted Stenehjem’s casket from Bismarck Funeral Home to the service at the Bismarck Event Center.
When the funeral party arrived, they met a crowd estimated at more than 1,000 people, among them officials from nearly all levels of government, scores of lawmakers, and representatives from law enforcement divisions across the state. Led by Stenehjem’s son Andrew, a long train of extended family delivered the casket down the center aisle to the front of a stage decked in flower bouquets.

North Dakota

Burgum again waives hours of service for propane haulers
KX News
Gov. Doug Burgum signed an executive order Friday extending the hours of service waiver for propane haulers for another 30 days. The extension begins immediately.

7 graduate from NDHP training academy
Knox Radio
Seven troopers graduated from the North Dakota Law Enforcement Training Academy on Friday, following successful completion of a comprehensive law enforcement training program…Lt. Governor Brent Sanford gave the graduation address and expressed gratitude to the new troopers and their families. He noted the courage and dedication needed of those who serve in uniform and wished them well as they begin their service to the citizens of North Dakota.

North Dakota House election will proceed in southeastern district, despite rep’s move
The Bismarck Tribune
The Legislature’s new map took effect Nov. 12, and Ertelt subsequently moved from Lisbon to Gwinner and thus out of District 24, which would usually be on the ballot with other even-numbered districts in 2024. Despite Ertelt’s move, an election for two-year terms for the two District 24 House seats will take place, even though the district has two incumbents, according to Secretary of State Al Jaeger.

Grafton, Park River see big gains in taxable sales, purchases
The Walsh County Record
North Dakota Tax Commissioner Brian Kroshus announced that North Dakota’s taxable sales and purchases for the third quarter of 2021 are up 12.1 percent compared to the same time frame in 2020. Taxable sales and purchases for July, August and September of 2021 were $5.32 billion. “The upward trend in the third quarter shows economic growth,” Kroshus said.

Canadian truckers slow roll vaccine protest
Knox Radio
Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring says “Over 75% of U.S.-Canada trade moves by truck,” Goehring says “Forcing this vaccine mandate on the industry will hurt the livelihoods of truckers, create further supply chain disruptions.”

Apprenticeship pilot program open for younger commercial vehicle drivers
Morning Ag Clips
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has announced it is accepting applications from motor carriers for the Safe Driver Apprenticeship Pilot program. Under the program, certain 18-, 19-, and 20-year-old drivers may operate commercial vehicles in interstate commerce. Previously, drivers under 21 years of age could not cross state lines while operating commercial vehicles. The program was signed into law Nov. 15 as part of the infrastructure bill. “The pilot program will help with the truck driver shortage and ease supply chain disruptions,” Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring said. “It will also create a viable career option for new high school graduates.”

East Central North Dakota judge announces retirement
A judge who serves in Cass, Steele and Traill counties will step down at the end of April. East Central District Judge Tom Olson informed North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum on Feb. 1 that he will retire, according to the state Supreme Court.

Williston Basin School District responds to State Audit
The financial uncertainty of the Williston Basin School District led some to start a petition to have the state auditor investigate its books. On Monday, State Auditor Josh Gallion announced the department received the petition and would start the process. The Williston Basin School District will now be audited by the State Auditor’s office after 988 signatures were received for the review “We’ll cooperate and do what we are asked to,” said Chris Jundt, board president.
Burgum appoints Pat Bertagnolli to lead Job Service North Dakota as executive director
Devils Lake Daily Journal
Gov. Doug Burgum announced he has appointed Pat Bertagnolli of Watford City to serve as executive director of Job Service North Dakota, effective Feb. 21, citing his extensive background in workforce recruitment, his experience in both the public and private sectors and his service on the state’s Workforce Development Council.

Burgum: February is CTE Month in North Dakota
AM 1100 The Flag
North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum has proclaimed February 2022 as Career and Technical Education (CTE) Month. Burgum says CTE Month is a part of a national campaign that encourages the participation and celebrates the value and accomplishments of CTE across the United States. The governor also encouraged classrooms across the state to participate during the month of February, saying CTE encompasses many different types of education, from classroom learning to certification programs to work-based learning opportunities outside the classroom.

Gov. Burgum meets with President Biden
Gov. Doug Burgum joined governors from around the country to meet with President Joe Biden Monday. The vice president and several cabinet officials were also there to discuss topics such as developing energy resources in America. Burgum said he hopes the administration will reconsider curtailing energy development on U.S. lands. Burgum said they also discussed other topics relevant to North Dakotans, “including drought resilience and recovery, ag lending, rebuilding our road and water infrastructure and ensuring broadband access for all citizens – an area where North Dakota leads nationally.”

Your tax refund might take longer this year
“We don’t expect any delays on our end, at the state level, but the IRS has indicated that they have a backlog and there will be delays with the processing of federal returns,” said Brian Kroshus, ND Tax Commissioner. North Dakota Tax Commissioner Brian Kroshus recommends everyone file electronically. He says it helps reduce fraud and it speeds up the processing time of refunds.

MDU electric customers to see small rate decrease
The Bismarck Tribune
Montana-Dakota Utilities electric customers will see a small reduction in their monthly bills beginning in February. The North Dakota Public Service Commission has approved a new “renewable rider” that will amount to a decrease of $1.20 per month on the average customer’s bill…Commissioner Randy Christmann said the rate also accounts for the installation of a new lighting system at the North Dakota wind farms and the “repowering” of the Montana wind farm. That repowering will bring with it a federal tax credit that helps to lower the rider costs.

State awards $7 million in specialty crop grants
The Bismarck Tribune
The state Agriculture Department has awarded 51 grants totaling more than $7 million to boost specialty crops in North Dakota. “North Dakota is already a leading producer of several specialty crops, such as dry edible beans, dry peas, potatoes and lentils,” Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring said. “As our farmers seek to diversify their production, these grants help provide important information through specialty crop research, education and trade missions.” The grants are distributed based on a formula that takes into account specialty crop acreage and production value. North Dakota State University is getting the bulk of the grants, for projects involving everything from crop genetics to disease research

Washington, D.C.

Hoeven, Cramer send water letter to EPA
Senators John Hoeven and Kevin Cramer signed a letter Friday urging government agencies to avoid changing Trump-era rules regarding the Clean Water Act. This comes as Biden administration officials seek to return to more restrictive clean water protection rules, similar to those implemented under former President Obama. The letter, addressed to the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, was signed by the entire Senate Republican Conference. Hoeven says it’s an issue that affects all property rights. “Whether you’re a farmer, whether you’re in the energy industry, or whether you’re just a homeowner. All of a sudden, you have to go to the EPA and get regulations on managing even water that’s flooding your land after a heavy rainfall or something like that. It makes no sense,” said Hoeven.

Abandoned Wells information page posted
The Williston Herald
The Division of Oil and gas has created a page on their website to update the status of funding and projects for the national restart program that’s modeled off our Bakken Restart program. Department of interior announced funding eligibility levels for the 26 states that applied for money from the $4.7 billion allocation for Sen. Kevin Cramer’’s REGROW Act, which was included in the bipartisan Infrastructure, Investment, and Jobs Act.

ND senators seek explanation of DHS dissemination of illegal immigrants
Minot Daily News
Hoeven and Cramer on Thursday signed a letter by Republican Sen. Thom Tillis of North Carolina that presses DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas to explain the movement of illegal immigrants. “In light of the public reporting around ‘midnight flights’ of illegal immigrants, we request a full accounting of your Department’s activities so that we can understand the scope of this challenge,” wrote the senators. “We are concerned that the use of these midnight flights by ICE is intended to obfuscate the Administration’s failure to secure our borders and protect hardworking, law-abiding Americans.”

Hoeven pays tribute to Stenehjem with statement in Congressional Record
KX News
North Dakota Senator John Hoeven today joined state residents in honoring the life and legacy of Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem with a statement for the Congressional Record. The message pays tribute to Stenehjem’s longstanding service to the state and in remembrance of the years Hoeven and Stenehjem worked together as governor and attorney general.

Rancher drought aid to be delivered starting next month
The Bismarck Tribune
Federal officials plan to begin doling out drought disaster aid to ranchers in March, officials announced Thursday. Meanwhile, drought remained relatively stable in North Dakota over the week, with wetter weather potentially to come later in February…U.S. Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D., a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, praised USDA’s announcement. “Our livestock producers have been hit by drought and other natural disasters over the last year, which has really taken a toll on their operations,” he said.

Oil and gas activity north of Lake Sakakawea is stronger, following completion of WBI’s North Bakken Expansion
Williston Herald
An area north of Lake Sakakawea in the Tioga area which had been bottlenecked when it comes to natural gas takeaway now has another 250 million cubic feet per day in capacity, scalable to 625 million cubic feet per day, if demand requires…Sen. John Hoeven and Sen. Kevin Cramer were part of a group of 25 senators who pushed FERC to review WBI’s pipeline and the others without the new greenhouse gas review. WBI ultimately received a notice to proceed from FERC in June 2021.

‘Hyper-Partisan’ Fed Nominee Blocks Senate Banking GOP On Twitter
The Daily Caller
President Joe Biden’s latest nominee to regulate the banking industry blocked the Senate Banking GOP Twitter account in advance of her confirmation hearing on Thursday…This action comes after a week of political mudslinging in which Republican North Dakota Sen. Kevin Cramer called Cook “fundamentally not qualified[.]”

Left, Right See Civil Liberties Disaster-in-the-Making in Capitol Hill Security Proposals
The Epoch Times
A new internal security program will have an “absolutely chilling effect” on the ability of constituents to petition their representatives, and whistleblowers with vital information to share with Congress, according to Rep. Kelly Armstrong. “It turns out that knowing who everyone is, and where they are at, has a security benefit. But, my question is, at what costs,” the North Dakota Republican told The Epoch Times in an interview on Feb. 2.

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