PIERRE, S.D. (KELO) — Governor Kristi Noem addressed her priorities in the South Dakota Legislature for the 2021 session, saying her focus is on improving family life in South Dakota.

After making her address, Noem fielded questions from the press for the first time since December 9th. Here we have a breakdown of those questions and of Noem’s responses.

On the investigation into AG Ravnsborg:
Noem said that her office makes inquiries into the status of the investigation on a regular basis, but that they have yet to receive answers. She described the slow pace of the investigation as “a grave disservice to the victim’s family”, and went on to say that she has been disappointed by the lack of action.

On the Keystone XL pipeline:
Governor Noem has voiced her displeasure with President Joe Biden’s executive order removing the pipeline’s permit, saying the decision is the wrong policy on energy, on the environment and on safety.
Noem went on to say that the project has been vetted, and that the pipeline is important in protecting our soil and water.

On Noem’s initiative to change South Dakota’s school curriculum:
When asked about why the state’s curriculum needed updating, Noem’s answer was scant on details. She did however say that she wants a focus on civics and history, with an emphasis on South Dakota history, more resources for teachers and more options for curriculum.
As for the specifics of that curriculum, Noem said that will be up to the historians.

On her comments calling Georgia Senators Ossoff and Warnock “communitsts”:
Asked if she regretted calling the pair of newly elected senators communists, Noem avoided a direct answer, saying instead, “I think that when we look at that situation with those two individuals, we need to look at their history and what they have said, and what they have chosen not to say in the past, and examine them and their belief system to see if that lines up with America’s values.”

On the direction of the Republican party post election:
Asked about Republicans’ loss of the Senate and the Presidency, as well as their failure to retake the House, Noem spoke about focusing on families, and the importance of keeping their word.
She went on to laud her policies in South Dakota; respecting people’s personal responsibility, keeping a balanced budget, and protecting and valuing life.

Noem fielded questions on a few other topics including plans for fireworks at Mount Rushmore and the legal battle against recreational marijuana in South Dakota.

Watch the Governor’s full answers in this video from her Facebook page.

KELOLAND Capitol News Bureau reporter Bob Mercer attended the news conference. Look for further coverage later in the day on KELOLAND News.