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Published March 25 2010

Lawsuit challenging use of taxpayer money to promote job growth back in ND state court

BISMARCK (AP) — A lawsuit challenging the use of North Dakota taxpayer money for private businesses to promote job growth has been sent back to state district court.

Federal Judge Daniel Hovland says the allegations in the lawsuit deal mainly with North Dakota constitutional law, not federal.

He sent the case from U.S. District Court back to South Central District Court in Bismarck and did not rule on a request by Minot and state officials to dismiss the case.

The lawsuit filed by Minot businessman Robert Hale says the state constitution forbids using taxpayer money to support private companies. He disputes the state's argument that the lawsuit should be dismissed because it fails to list specific grants or loans.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.