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KHRT ND News - Wednesday - 03/13/19 - Morning Edition

The number of drug overdose deaths in North Dakota has declined after hitting a record number in 2016....

     BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - The number of drug overdose deaths in North Dakota has declined after hitting a record number in 2016. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports drug overdose deaths in North Dakota dipped to 68 in 2017 after a record 77 deaths were reported in 2016.
     Human Services officials call the news encouraging, but say it's no time to be complacent. Behavioral Health Division Director Pam Sagness says the decrease shows the success of drug overdose prevention efforts the state started in 2017.
     In 2017, North Dakota launched the Recovery Reinvented Program, as well as began distributing the overdose-reversing naloxone to communities and working to get medication-assisted treatment available across the state. The Bismarck Tribune reports North Dakota will continue using federal grants and other funds to continue those efforts.


     BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - An economic consultancy hired by the North Dakota Legislature predicts slightly higher oil prices but lower production over the next two-year budget cycle than a state forecast. The forecast presented Tuesday by IHS Markit to lawmakers estimated general fund revenues from major tax collection categories at $2.9 billion. That's down 7.5 percent from revenue forecast presented Monday by state budget analysts and Moody's Analytics.

    The Legislature's consultancy predicted oil production to slip from the current 1.4 million barrels daily to 1.3 million barrels at the end of the budget cycle. The forecast presented Monday expects production to rise by about 400,000 barrels over the budget period.

    Lawmakers will consider both forecasts to set the final numbers Thursday when they begin finishing their work on the state's 2019-2021 spending plan.


     BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - The group behind a constitutional amendment to toughen ethics rules in state government is offering several amendments to a Republican bill they say is too soft on the issue.
     North Dakotans for Public Integrity is hoping to make the bill more like a Democratic proposal it says is more in line with what voters wanted when they approved the amendment in 2018. That amendment would restrict lobbying and create an independent ethics commission, among other things.
     The GOP-sponsored bill has passed the House and was being heard in the Senate on Tuesday. Meanwhile, the Democratic version was in the House after already passing the Senate.

     BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - Federal officials who permitted the Dakota Access oil pipeline are turning over some documents sought by American Indian tribes suing over the project. But they say a request for dozens more records is vague and overly broad and should be rejected by a federal judge. The pipeline developer also is asking the judge to deny the tribal request, saying it's meritless and will cause needless delay in an already protracted legal fight.



   (Copyright 2019 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)


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