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Noem signs state budget bill into law

Gov. Kristi Noem delivers her 2023 State of the State Address at the Capitol building in Pierre.
Lee Strubinger
Gov. Kristi Noem delivers her 2023 State of the State Address at the Capitol building in Pierre.

Gov. Kristi Noem has signed the Fiscal Year 2024 budget bill approved by lawmakers, though the fate of a separate bill reducing the sales tax remains unclear.

Noem announced the signing of Senate Bill 210 Monday in a lettersent to legislators.

“I appreciate the work of my BFM Commissioner Jim Terwilliger and the BFM team on this budget,” Noem said in a press release. “I appreciate the legislature for recognizing that it should fund my administration’s priorities to maximize freedom and liberty for the people of the state.”

The budget includes 7% funding increases for education and state employee salaries. It boosts funding to community health care providers by 5% and increases reimbursement for long-term care facilities to 100%.

Noem said the legislature agreed to fund most of her recommended FY 2024 budget, but noted lawmakers allocated an additional $87 million in spending beyond her recommendations. That money went toward freezing tuition at the state's public universities and technical colleges and Medicaid expansion spending, among other items.

"Only time will tell if it was a wise decision to spend these additional dollars," Noem's letter to lawmakers said.

One major component absent from Noem's announcement is her decision on a bill cutting the state sales from 4.5% to 4.2%. Throughout the legislative session, the governor was vocal in her support of a separate tax cut proposal eliminating the sales tax on grocery items. Noem previously hinted at vetoing the legislature's tax cut bill.

SDPB employees are state employees and are subject to salary increases.

Josh Chilson is the news director at South Dakota Public Broadcasting. A Florence, S.D. native, Josh graduated with a journalism degree from South Dakota State University. He has worked as a newspaper reporter and videographer, and most recently as managing editor for Dakota News Now. Josh is based out of SDPB's Sioux Falls studio.