The 2020 South Dakota legislative session is now officially underway. Governor Kristi Noem delivered her State of the State Address Tuesday shortly after it opened
Governor Noem talked about legalizing industrial hemp in South Dakota saying “Everyone knows I don’t think it’s a good idea.”
Still the governor told lawmakers she’d be willing to sign a bill if certain requirements are met.
“Given all that we need to accomplish this year, if this is going to get done, my hope is that we can do it in the coming days so we can focus on our other priorities,” Gov. Kristi Noem said.
“She’s agreed that if we meet certain stipulations, which we have in the bill, that she’s going to sign it. I think it’s great we can meet halfway on that and get that accomplished,” Rep. Tim Goodwin (R) Majority Whip said.
When it comes to the state budget, Governor Noem says revenues are slightly better than expected.
During her budget address in December, she said she couldn’t recommend pay raises for state employees.
“What this means is that we may have extra flexibility to achieve the things we want to accomplish. My number one priority with additional, on-going money will be to provide increases to K-12 schools, providers, and state employees,” Gov. Noem said.
“I’m glad to see that the governor knows we need to pay attention to education, to our seniors, to our service providers and to our state workers so there will be room for us to come forward with proposals and legislation and appropriations to award those individuals in those very tough areas. What that’s going to be I think will be determined and debated on the house and senate floor,” Rep. Linda Duba (D) Minnehaha County said.
The governor also addressed the meth problem in South Daktoa.
You’ll remember the state launched an anti-meth campaign that made national headlines, but Noem said since then people are talking about it and wanting to address it.
The governor is asking for more funding for intensive treatment programs.