Noem shares thoughts behind department merger

PIERRE, S.D. (WNAX) – South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem has proposed merging the Agriculture Department and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.

In a conference call with producers and ag groups, she said it is a progression from the move of ag development into the Governors Office of Economic Development two years ago.

Noem says she wants a more streamlined agency and process.

Noem says the permitting process needs to be simplified.

Her plan would also create some budget savings through the elimination of some full-time positions. The legislature will have the final say on the merger plan.