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SDPB Radio Coverage of the South Dakota Legislature. See all coverage and find links to audio and video streams live from the Capitol at www.sdpb.org/statehouse

Noem Acknowledges Incoming Biden Administration During Budget Address With A Warning


Governor Kristi Noem is positioning the state for a Joe Biden Administration, acknowledging the democratic presidential candidate won the 2020 election. She’s asking the state legislature to place additional money in reserves and put $50 million into a trust fund for future hardships

The announcement came during the end of the Republican governor’s budget address, when she says the state should safeguard itself in the event of unforeseen economic setbacks…

“We must continue to take a prudent and a conservative approach to state government,” Noem says. “Again, we need to carefully consider our present and unusual circumstances as we project revenue. To be prepared, we need to save.”

Noem often points to the state’s prosperity and decision not to issue any mandates in response to the global pandemic. She says that’s kept the state in a good financial position. The federal government has pumped in over five billion in stimulus relief to residents, businesses and the state government.

She wants lawmakers to add an additional two percent to the annual 10% of the state’s general fund into budget reserves. She also recommends putting $50 million into a trust fund to protect against future economic hardships; not because of the pandemic, but because of a Biden Administration.

“I expect that federal agencies will see South Dakota not necessarily as a partner, but as a subordinate, based on what they’ve communicated with us. So, we are preparing for that.”

Noem points to tax increases announced by the Biden administration, which would affect corporations and those making $400,000 or more, and the Green New Deal. Democratic State Senator Reynold Nesiba says it’s important Governor Noem, who was a Trump campaign surrogate, acknowledge Biden is the next president of the US.

“I think that she should begin to reach out to the incoming administration and do all we can to build partnerships and to work with them,” Nesiba says. “I think it would be great, personally, if President Biden was able to come to South Dakota and celebrate the forth of July at Mt. Rushmore.”

The electoral college vote takes place on Monday, December 14th. According to the Associate Press, Joe Biden will receive 306 votes, Donald Trump will get 232.

Lee Strubinger is SDPB’s Rapid City-based news and political reporter. A former reporter for Fort Lupton Press (CO) and Colorado Public Radio, Lee holds a master’s in public affairs reporting from the University of Illinois-Springfield.