Reactions to Governor Noem’s Budget Address

Here are reactions we are seeing from Governor Kristi Noem’s budget address:

PIERRE, S.D.(Press Release)- “Like the Governor, Democratic legislators share a commitment to make our kids and grandkids a policy priority. However, unlike the Governor, we believe this should include free breakfast and lunches for our public school students, assistance for childcare, and accepting the federal government’s offer of a summer EBT program for families. Hungry children struggle to learn. We’re a rich state and can meet this need if it is a policy priority.”

“The Governor talked about education, healthcare, foster care and prisons but left out any reference to our tribal members. If we are going to address these policy issues, tribal leaders need to be at the table. We need to work together to ensure that all South Dakotans have access to economic, educational, and healthcare opportunities. This can only be done with much greater coordination with tribal leadership. We hope the Governor takes steps toward greater reconciliation.” – Senator Reynold Nesiba & Representative Oren Lesmeister

District 3 Representative Brandei Schaefbauer texted the following statement:

“The Governor’s budget address was very to the point and lean and not spending a lot of extra money because the one time ARPA funds are running out.  She would like to increase teacher salaries, state employees, and medical providers by 4%.  We will have to see if that fits in with the numbers that will be given to us to make the budget.  A lot of money is going for the penitentiaries and as with the 4% increases we will have to see if there is money there for that.  It looks like it will be a lien session in 2024.”

District 3 Senator Al Novstrup texted the following statement:

“The Governor’s budget is the starting budget.  Changes will be made based up revenue collected between now and February.  The budget may also change due to priorities of the legislature.  The main takeaway of Governor Noem’s budget address is her desire to increase funding for education, healthcare, and state employees 4% for the next fiscal year.  Budget changes are likely during the 2024 legislative session and then again half way through the budgeted year in the 2025 legislative session.”

District 1 Senator Michael Rohl texted the following statement:

“I think the Governor laid out a good starting point for the legislature.  I am encouraged by the 4% increases in the “big 3″ as well as the 95 million in ARPA funds for water projects.  This will directly benefit WEB and BDM users.  It’s also great to see the Governor continue to prioritize infrastructure projects in NE SD like repairing the Richmond Dam.  I was disappointed to not see a tuition freeze for our regent and tech schools.  Three straight years we have froze tuition rates, helping students afford continued education and I hope the legislature includes it in our final budget, as it’s an investment in our kids and important to NSU’s growth.”

South Dakota House Majority Leader Will Mortenson told SDPB following the speech:

An interim summer study could bring 10 or so bills to the 99th session of the South Dakota Legislature this winter.  District 24 Representative Mike Wiesgram told KCCR county funding will be where the debate begins.

South Dakota State Employees Organization Executive Director Eric Olilla (olee-la) told DRGNews he appreciates seeing that much of a proposed increase of 4%.

South Dakota Legislative Session begins Tuesday, January 9th.