Fiscal officer for Gov. Noem’s office tells committee ‘There has been some increased costs’ on security

KELOLAND.com Original

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — The much talked about travel of Gov. Kristi Noem (R-S.D.) was part of the discussion of a Joint Committee hearing on Appropriations Wednesday morning at the Capitol in Pierre. 

KELOLAND News has been documenting Noem’s travel schedule throughout the fall, which included trips to at least seven different states in October campaigning for President Donald Trump.  

In late October, KELOLAND’s Angela Kennecke was told by a governor’s office attorney that calendars, or logs of appointments of public officials, are not subject to South Dakota public records law.

Travis Dovre, Fiscal Officer for the governor’s office, told the committee this week that South Dakota has not had a governor travel in and out of the state so much. 

“This was the first time we’ve seen a governor travel to this extent on the national platform,” Dovre said during the meeting. 

Asked by state lawmakers about Noem’s non-state business travel costs, Dovre said they aren’t paid with state funds.

Dovre added security for the governor is state business “24-7” and 365 days a year. He added that security is provided by Highway Patrol. 

Dovre said costs for extra security did not come from state funds and deferred all security questions to the South Dakota Highway Patrol. 

That’s when Rep. Taffy Howard (R-Rapid City) asked Dovre whether Trump’s campaign paid for any extra costs and if there was an increase. 

“Don’t get me wrong, if that helped him (Trump) in any way, I was all for it,” Howard said while asking the question about whether there was an increase in security costs. 

“There has been some increased costs,” Dovre said. “But again, it’s highway patrol, it’s related to security and they’d be the ones to really get into the increase or decrease.” 

KELOLAND News has reached out the South Dakota Highway Patrol asking to confirm an increase in security costs for Gov. Noem and how much it has cost the Highway Patrol. We’ll update this story when receive an answer.

You can listen to Howard’s question as well as Dovre’s comments on Noem’s travel, security costs and impacts to state funding in the player above. 

October 2020’s latest campaign-finance for the Republican governor showed $852,549.87 of revenue, with a large chunk coming from people and organizations in South Dakota.

She also reported operational spending of $286,383.82, including $124,484.44 in unspecified consulting expenses and $51,677.34 for travel. State law doesn’t require detailed expenditures.

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