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Noem vetoes 'unworkable' bill requiring legislative input on new federally funded programs

Governor Kristi Noem announcing her first veto of the 2022 session on February 10
Governor Kristi Noem

Gov. Kristi Noem is vetoing a bill that requires legislative oversight for new state programs paid for with federal money.

Noem says the bill is unworkable.

South Dakota will receive billions of dollars in federal money over the next few years. Some lawmakers say the appropriations committee should approve any new programs paid for with that money.

However, Gov. Noem says the bill would have unintended consequences.

She says the bill increases bureaucracy with unnecessary accounting and budget transfers. The governor also says legislative oversight would stymy Department of Transportation construction projects and create additional hearings.

The chair of the House Appropriations committee Rep. Chris Karr, R-Sioux Falls, says the governor is confusing the issue.

“There’s this method of creating chaos and confusion to help kill something or to help defeat something," Karr says. "I think that’s unfortunate.”

Karr says the oversight bill was the lynch pin that brought budget negotiations together at the end of the recent legislative session.

There are lawmakers who echo Noem’s concerns, saying there are legal issues with the bill.

Rep. David Anderson, R-Hudson, is a former chair of the House Appropriations committee. Anderson is urging lawmakers to uphold Noem’s veto. He says the oversight bill was presented and developed without input from the public, state agencies and departments, or other lawmakers.

“Obviously, it was something that was pushed through as a deal, if you want to call it that. But that isn’t the way to do good legislation," Anderson says. "Good legislation happens bill by bill, standing on its own merits and not being leveraged one against the other.”

The oversight bill passed both chambers with veto- proof majorities. Lawmakers meet Monday to consider overriding that veto, and two others.