Noem Gives State Of The State Address To Joint Session Of Legislature

(KCCR) — South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem presented her second State of the State address to a joint session of the South Dakota Legislature Tuesday in Pierre. Noem says with state revenues coming in better than forecast she’d like to see legislators add inflationary increases with any additional funds…

“Since my budget address, revenues have been slightly better than expected. What this means is that we may have extra flexibility to achieve the things we want to accomplish. My number one priority with additional, on-going money will be to provide increases to K-12 schools, providers, and state employees. In order to do this for many years to come, we must work together to find ways to grow our state’s economy. With our eyes fixed to the future, we can ensure that every South Dakotan can build their life here, get good jobs, make a living and support their families.”

Noem says she also wants to establish affordable housing units to help keep workers in the state…

“Developers are reluctant to invest because they don’t want to take on the risk of building homes and having them sit empty. And folks are reluctant to expand their businesses because people won’t move without good housing choices. I’m pleased to announce that I’ve asked GOED to begin utilizing the REDI fund to support multi-family, workforce housing projects. Having suitable housing is economic progress. I’m confident that opening up this fund will get developers to invest in communities where additional housing units are most needed.”

Noem also says she is willing to change her stance since conditions surrounding the push to legalize industrial hemp production have changed…

“Federal guidelines have been put in place, a South Dakota tribe has been given the green light on production, and other states’ actions mean we need to address hemp transportation through our state. The legislative summer study also did important work, and they included some good ideas. I think we can all agree that we don’t want to stress our already thin law enforcement resources. I also think we’re all in agreement that we don’t want to negatively impact our drug fighting efforts across the state.”

Noem also says the state is now moving into the next phase of an anti-methamphetamine campaign and is asking Legislators to help by fund additional meth treatment programs.