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Politics

Legislature wants oversight on incoming federal money

House Floor 2022
Lee Strubinger
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SDPB
House lawmakers during floor session.

State lawmakers passed a bill requiring legislative oversight for any new programs that result from incoming federal money.

Governor Kristi Noem is critical of the bill saying it creates a full-time legislature.

The state is expecting nearly $3 billion from the recent federal infrastructure package passed by congress.

It also anticipates further coronavirus relief money.

Governor Noem took to social media Thursday morning to share her concerns about the legislation.

Noem calls the bill bad government. She says it will slow down getting federal dollars out to people who need it.

Noem final day.png
screenshot
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YouTube
Governor Kristi Noem on social media criticizing lawmakers on a bill that requires more legislative oversite on incoming federal infrastructure dollars.

“It is saying that the appropriations committee will have to be here full time to approve all of these grants, which there are thousands and thousands of them every single year,” Noem says. “And that they have the authority to speak for the entire legislature, which would be unprecedented.”

House and Senate Republicans have disagreed on executive branch spending authority. The bill is seen as a key ancillary legislation to get the state budget past the finish line.

Republican Representative Chris Karr disagrees with the governor’s assessment. He says the bill is only aimed at new programs.

“If there’s new programs that these dollars can be used for, then yes, come back to the legislative branch,” Karr says. “Because that’s what we’re here for. We appropriate dollars, but we also have the transparency of a public meeting. So we have committee meetings and we have a process where we can take input and make sure that we are putting together the best form and best use of those dollars.”

The bill sunsets in July 2023.

The House and Senate passed the bill with veto-proof majorities. The governor has not indicated whether she’ll reject the legislation.