Lawmakers say taxpayers deserve to know Noem’s travel security costs

Politics

PIERRE, S.D. (KELO) — Yesterday three Republican lawmakers dropped their names from House Bill 1089. Today two republicans and a democrat added their names.

There are allegations that lawmakers are being pressured to leave the issue alone.

Several lawmakers continue to seek information about the cost of security during Governor Noem’s travels in support of the Trump campaign.

“Taxpayers have a right to know where their tax dollars are being spent,” said Republican Representative Taffy Howard.

Howard, of Rapid City says some of the sponsors were “called to the second floor” where the Governor’s office is located. She says after that, 3 original sponsors told her they were removing their names from the bill.

They include, Representative Rhonda Milstead of Sioux Falls, Senator David Johnson of Rapid City
and House Majority Whip Marli Wiese of Madison

Today the governor told us why she won’t release the information to lawmakers.

“Well I don’t talk about security, I never have and no governor ever has, it’s for obvious reasons, that’s not something I should be commenting on,” said Noem.

A few minutes later we wanted to know more, but essentially we got the same answer. We asked the Governor what releasing the cost of traveling security to lawmakers has to do with her safety and if those costs are being reimbursed in any way.

“Well again I don’t talk about security and I don’t believe any Governor ever has in this state, and we’ll continue to follow that legislation,” said Noem.

That answer doesn’t hold water with a number of lawmakers, especially with Representative Howard who sits on the Joint Appropriations Committee and considers it her responsibility to know where tax dollars are being spent.

“This is after the fact, after the fact, we’re not asking for any travel information anything that would compromise safety or security. After the fact we’re simply asking what tax dollars did you spend, let us know how much that’s all we’re asking,” Howard said.

Howard will continue to fight for transparency in government. However she says this issue has hit a nerve because she is now being targeted, Washington DC style. On Wednesday political operatives sent out a mass text with Howard’s phone number.

“I had a constituent a copy of the text that went out and it says “call Taffy Howard” at my phone number “Tell her to stop being used by the Biden dems and to support Governor Noem. And I just want to say I am so far ideologically away, far away form Biden democrats, I fully support a limited government, I’m a Reagan conservative, I mean he said “Man is not free unless Government is limited”. that’s who I am, that’s what I will stand on and i will support anybody who supports that,” Howard said.

House bill 1089 is now headed for the House Judiciary Committee.

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