SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) – Wednesday Governor Kristi Noem signed Senate Bill 189 into law at the South Dakota Air National Guard Base in Sioux Falls. This legislation started as an executive order of Noem’s to restrict state and local government from doing business with six foreign governments.
“I can’t think of another bill this legislative session that has a bigger impact on the next generation than the one we’re signing into law today,” Noem said.
The law will restrict state and local governments from contracting with six quote, “Evil Foreign Governments.” Those governments include China, Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Russia and Venezuela.
“It is part of their foreign policy to destroy the United States of America clearly through their actions they take, the fact that they are not republics, not democratic countries, that truly do embrace not only just human rights but also the rights and freedoms of the people that live there,” Noem said.
Senator Jim Stalzer, a Republican from Sioux Falls, was the bills prime sponsor. He says he’s worked with a group called China Tech Threat, which found South Dakota had spent $30,000 over the last five years to buy computer and networking products manufactured at companies owned by Chinese interests.
“These two companies, being owned by China, collect data and the Chinese law says that any data they collect is property of the Chinese Communist Party,” Stalzer said.
Noem says this bill will keep personal information the state has on South Dakotans out of the hands of countries like China.
“We hold a lot of private information that it’s extremely dangerous if it gets into the wrong hands,” Noem said. “We’ve taken steps to make sure it’s going to be safe, but we’re also going to take steps to make sure we don’t allow the wrong people to access it.”
Senate Bill 189 passed the Legislature with little resistance, only receiving 2 no votes in the Senate.