Paul Matthys

Rep. Bob Martinson, a Republican from District 35 in Bismarck, is about as close as you can get to being the Tom Brady in North Dakota politics. Brady turned 45 this year, and Martinson is (by my math) currently serving his 45th year in the N.D. Legislative Assembly. Martinson was reelected in November and will return to the House when it convenes for the 68th Legislative Assembly in January, shortly after Brady’s final regular season game with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Jan. 8.

Gov. Doug Burgum signs House Bill 1412 into law. The legislation provides lignite power plant and conversion facility operators five years of immediate tax relief from coal conversion taxes. With the North Dakota lignite industry facing pressures from the federal government and skewed energy market prices, House Bill 1412 will help level the playing field for the lignite industry and make lignite-fueled electricity more competitive on the electric grid. PHOTO BY NDAREC/LIZA KESSEL

While this session marked an incredible accomplishment in transparency and adoption of technology to remove barriers to the legislative process, many still express a preference for face-to-face dialogue on policy. This was true for the North Dakota Association of Rural Electric Cooperatives (NDAREC), the trade association for North Dakota’s electric cooperatives, which advocates for electric co-ops at the Legislature.