RECAP: South Dakota State of the State
South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem delivered her first State of the State address of her second term on Tuesday. This is a yearly event taken by the Governor of South Dakota to tell the people and the legislators what they want to see get done in the upcoming year.
At the top of her speech, she announced she is now a grandmother and how her family is growing she wants the state to grow as well and make it even stronger.
Before Governor Noem got into her priorities for the upcoming year she discussed some of her state’s great accomplishments like first in the nation year over year economic growth, new small businesses, and home purchases.
Governor Noem started by telling South Dakota residents that the state has a surplus and she will use the chance presented in front of them with the surplus to cut taxes for all South Dakota residents.
Governor Noem also wants to suspend the sales tax so South Dakota residents can have a little bit more wiggle room every week at the grocery store.
With all the tax cuts being announced and proposed for South Dakota residents, each household would be saving 1,000 dollars a year.
Another big topic for Governor Noem was the area of working and employment. In her remarks, she discussed how the state of South Dakota has the lowest unemployment rate in the history of the state. While she was happy about that news she pointed out the state currently has over 23,000 open job positions. To fix this issue, Governor Noem wants to continue the program that would allow out-of-state occupational licenses.
The governor also talked about the importance of family leave. Currently in the state of South Dakota family leave is 60% of your pay for 8 weeks to 100% pay for 12 weeks. Governor Noem wants to start the program for state workers immediately and start a grant program for private businesses to adopt the program. She explained the more private companies that opt into the program the cheaper it will be for all of them.
Currently, in South Dakota family leave only applies to those who have a baby or adopt a child she wants to expand it to sick leave as well for yourself or a family member.
South Dakota Governor Noem also discussed families and growing families. She is asking the legislature to pass legislation that would require Medicaid to cover all care for pregnancy from start to past delivery.
She also wants to start a grant program for state employees. If there is a state employee who adopts a child they may be eligible for a one-time 25,000 dollar grant.
Governor Noem is also asking for 40 million dollars in the childcare industries for either parents paying for the childcare or the center themselves hiring more employees or improvements to their centers.
Governor Noem in her speech also gave governor metal of honors to several residents to who she felt were heroes over the past year.