Reactions to Governor Noem’s Budget Address

PIERRE, S.D.(WNAX)- South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem laid out an ambitious budget plan to state lawmakers Tuesday.  Here’s how South Dakota legislators reacted to the speech.

Incoming House Majority Leader Will Mortenson of Pierre says her plan to cut the sales tax on food has been debated many times before.

Mortenson says they won’t have to make final decisions on the budget until the final days of the session.

The Governor proposed spending millions of dollars on prison updates and new construction. Mortenson says those aren’t optional.

District 18 Representative Mike Stevens of Yankton says it’s a continuation of spending plans over the last couple of years.

Stevens says they have to be careful with long term obligations.

Stevens says there will be a lot of details.

Representative-elect Julie Auch says there were some items that caught her attention.

Auch says the Governor laid out a good plan to cut the state sales tax on groceries.

Auch says she will listen to what the people in her district want.

Senator Jean Hunhoff of Yankton, Chair of the Appropriations Committee, says they will soon start on the details.

Hunhoff says they will work with the new committee members to get them up to speed.

Hunhoff says they will have a lot of information to digest.

Senate Minority Leader Reynold Nesiba of Sioux Falls, says many of her ideas have been democratic goals.

Noem was critical of President Biden several time during her speech, Nesiba says the President should also get some credit.

The Governor also proposed a five percent raises for state employees, state aid to education and community service providers.  Nesiba says that this isn’t enough.

Legislators return to Pierre for the start of the session on January 10th.