PIERRE, S.D. (KELO) — South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem says more people are moving to the state for freedom. Because of that, she says more housing is needed, and she wants the state to help communities make it happen. She is also proposing raises for many people who already live in the state. Noem in Tuesday’s budget address has proposed a 6% bump in pay for state workers, state aid for education and funding to health care providers.
“The funding increase to providers should go directly into those front-line workers and our state employees have taken everything in stride,” Noem said. “They’ve increased their workload dramatically, and they’ve continued to provide our constituents with the best service that is possible.”
Noem has a clear directive for what different districts should do, too.
“School districts should invest the 6% increase directly into our teachers and into other district staff,” Noem said.
Where the state’s workforce can live also had the governor’s attention.
“Today I’m announcing that 200 million dollar investment from the state in workforce housing grants that will encompass $150 million of one-time state general funds,” Noem said. “Those dollars will partner with $50 million in federal funds to be invested in sewer infrastructure tied to those workforce housing projects.”
Water projects to impact drinking water, water treatment and drainage were also in the spotlight to the tune of more than one billion dollars.
“Thankfully, we now have the resources to make a $660 million investment, once-in-a-generation investment, in water projects across the state with our combined resources, including state, federal and local dollars,” Noem. “Those three entities combined will put $1.5 billion worth of investment into these projects.”