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Legislature upholds Noem vetoes

House floor 2022.jpg
Lee Strubinger
House lawmakers in 2022.

Lawmakers are upholding three vetoes issued by Gov. Kristi Noem.

Both chambers made quick work of upholding the vetoes Monday during the final day of the 2022 legislative session at the Capitol in Pierre.

The vetoed bill would have automatically removed certain marijuana convictions from a background check, and allowed pregnant minors to make certain health care decisions without parental approval.

Noem also rejected a bill that called for more legislative oversight on new programs created from federal dollars. The state anticipates billions of federal dollars in the coming years from pandemic relief bills.

Rep. Rhonda Milstead supports having the Legislature keep an eye on new government spending.

The Republican from Sioux Falls says she’s disappointed the House failed to override the veto.

“We keep reducing what the Legislature does,” Milstead says. “I think that’s our problem in D.C. is because we a government run by the bureaucracy and by one person—the president. And here we want to do that same thing in the state of South Dakota? Have the governor determine where we’re spending our money instead of more eyes on it?”

But those in favor of more eyes on those new appropriations did not have enough to override the veto. The concept lost votes since the bill was last voted on earlier this month.

Rep. Larry Tidemann voted against the bill both times.

The Republican from Brookings, who is a former chairman of the Appropriations Committee, says the bill was overreaching.

“The process is already in place for expending dollars. I don’t want to stop — when you receive these dollars — that they can’t go forward with it,” Tidemann says.

The issue is not over, however. Several members of the Legislature are asking the attorney general to seek an answer from the courts on whether the governor can spend new federal dollars without the Legislature's approval.

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A letter from a group of legislators to the attorney general seeking a court's opinion on spending authority for new federal funding.