Governor Kristi Noem


Governor Kristi Noem wants to defend Title IX protections by declaring boys play boys sports and girls play girls sports – in essence preventing transgender girls from participating in sports.  

She’s reaching out to other governors and attorneys general to join her. Transgender advocates in the state say she hasn’t reached out to them.  

Governor Noem says her office has been studying Title IX cases since September and doesn’t think the bill that reached her desk would hold up in the courts.  


In The Moment … January 15th, 2021 Show 973 Hour 1

The Governor of South Dakota delivers a "State of the State" address to the opening day of the state legislature. The address typically offers a mix of accomplishments from the previous year and plans for the year ahead.  Governor Kristi Noem addressed the state legislature Tuesday. Her initiatives this year included an abortion ban, expansion of broadband services, ag industry investment, civics education, and scholarships.  

South Dakota Democratic Leadership Talk 2021 Goals

Jan 12, 2021

In The Moment January 12th, 2021 Show 971 Hour 1

The South Dakota Legislative Session kicks off today with Governor Kristi Noem's State of the State speech. State Democrats hold fewer seats in the state legislature than they did last session.  

Guests: Representative Jamie Smith, Minority Leader of the House, and Senator Troy Heinart, Minority Leader of the Senate.

Courtesy of Cory Heidelberger

The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals heard arguments on Wednesday, Dec. 16, in a case titled SDVoice et al. v. Kristi L. Noem, et al. In January this year, a federal judge ruled that 2019 legal restrictions on the ballot initiative process were unconstitutional. The governor, attorney general, and secretary of state challenged that ruling, even though that 2019 law has been replaced. Victoria Wicks reports on this appeal for SDPB.


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…

Governor Noem Interview: COVID-19 in South Dakota

Nov 18, 2020

SDPB's Lori Walsh welcomes Governor Kristi Noem to talk about COVID-19 in South Dakota and what we can expect in the days ahead. Listen on Apple Podcasts or Spotify today.

Governor Kristi Noem has tripled her campaign war chest in the last five months.

According to the latest campaign finance filings with the Secretary of State, the Kristi For Governor campaign now has nearly $811,000 on hand.

In May she had about $245,000.

South Dakota’s lone representative in the US House is part of a bi-partisan group unveiling a coronavirus relief package amidst stalled congressional negotiations.

The 25 Republicans and 25 Democrats call themselves the Problem Solvers Caucus. Their package includes aid for individuals, unemployment assistance, state and local government money and a new round of paycheck protection plan loans.

Note: This story was updated 5:32 pm 9/15/2020

It’s not clear if the governor has the legal authority to put Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg on leave during the investigation of his fatal collision over the weekend. The state constitution puts impeachment authority for certain state officers with the legislature, but it doesn’t say if the Attorney General can be removed on a temporary basis otherwise.

Governor Kristi Noem told reporters she hasn’t yet considered putting Ravnsborg on leave.

South Dakota Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg was involved in a car crash on Saturday night that resulted in one fatality. Ranvsborg says he’s fully cooperating with the investigation. 

The incident happened around 10:30 Saturday night on Highway 14 just west of Highmore in central South Dakota.

Governor Kristi Noem says law enforcement is working on identifying the person killed and notifying the family. 

Krystal Schoenbauer / SDPB

The South Dakota State Fair is officially underway, despite the rising number of new COVID 19 cases.

Officials say it’s hard to gauge how many will attend this year’s state fair in Huron.

A typical fair brings in anywhere from 200,000 to 217,000 attendees.

The state fair is one of many large scale events held in the state, despite the global coronavirus pandemic.

From fireworks at Mt. Rushmore to the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally and the Sioux Empire Fair, South Dakota is one of the only state’s in the country bringing together large groups of people.

Screenshot / Sioux Falls Downtown Rotary

Governor Kristi Noem says she anticipates considering calling a special legislative session to spend more than $900 million in coronavirus stimulus money.

During an interview with the Sioux Falls Downtown Rotary, she says that’s something she might do if the federal government does not extend a December deadline to spend the funds.

The CARES Act gives governors latitude to spend those relief dollars.

On the Other Hand: Governor Noem's RNC Speech

Aug 27, 2020

In The Moment … August 27, 2020 Show 890 Hour 1

Governor Kristi Noem spoke at the Republican National Convention last night, invoking the legacy of Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, and Roosevelt. Here at home, she's calling for the men enshrined on Mount Rushmore to be represented once again, this time in the alcoves of the Capitol dome. Kevin Woster writes about the history of the idea on his blog On the Other Hand. You can find it on our website at

Dakota Political Junkies

Aug 26, 2020

In The Moment … August 26, 2020 Show 889 Hour 2

Governor Kristi Noem is on the schedule to speak today during the Republican National Convention. Meanwhile, COVID-19 is infiltrating our schools and universities before fall classes have much of a chance to get off the ground. Are we experiencing a "second wave" of the coronavirus? The Dakota Political Junkies return to our regular time and we welcome Jon Hunter, publisher of the Madison Daily Leader. Also appearing today is Michael Card, Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of South Dakota in Vermillion.

Meet the Candidates: Jessica Castleberry

Aug 26, 2020
Jessica Castleberry

In The Moment … August 26, 2020 Show 889 Hour 1

We're about to check in with two more candidates for the South Dakota Legislature as part of SDPB's Meet the Candidates series. First, we travel to District 35 where Jessica Castleberry is an incumbent in the South Dakota House of Representatives. She was appointed to that position by Governor Kristi Noem on December 31st, 2019. Castleberry is a Republican from Rapid City.  As a small business owner, Castleberry won the Small Business Administration's South Dakota Woman Owned Small Business of the Year in 2018.


Kevin Woster: Talking with Daugaard

Aug 6, 2020

In The Moment … August 6, 2020 Show 875 Hour 1

Governor Kristi Noem's first term in office is defined by a pandemic. But if she follows in the footsteps of Governor Dennis Daugaard, there are smoother days ahead. SDPB's Kevin Woster talks about his conversation with the former governor online at He also writes there about another well-known Woster. 

Governor Kristi Noem’s office is clarifying her stance on mask wearing among students, after a campaign email last week says she’s encouraging them return to school “without masks.”

A governor’s spokesperson calls the fundraising email “in-artfully written.” They say Noem believes if people want to wear a mask, that is their own prerogative. The spokesperson says she has—and continues—to oppose mandatory masking, but she has never discouraged wearing them.


The three major healthcare systems in South Dakota all agree—masks help slow the spread of COVID 19.

Each system requires a mask to enter its hospitals and clinics. They all recommend that people wear a mask in public, especially when social distancing is not possible.

However, there are some political leaders who still aren’t sure.

President Donald Trump has questioned masks. He’s refused to wear them in public, until recently. In fact, now, he occasionally mentions them.

State of South Dakota

Governor Kristi Noem says the state will follow Centers for Disease Control guidance on policy decision surrounding COVID-19.

The CDC recommends people wear cloth face covering in public settings when around people outside their household, especially when social distancing is difficult to maintain.

Noem, however, says the science is mixed on their ability to slow the spread of the disease.

On Friday, thousands of attendees waited hours for a glimpse at the sitting president of the United States and the return of fireworks at Mount Rushmore.

The event was billed as a celebration and is one of the largest gatherings of Americans since the coronavirus pandemic reached the country.

Fireworks explode over Mount Rushmore and attendees sit in awe, capturing video of the spectacle as patriotic music blares from an immaculate stage at the base of the national monument.

"Back to Normal Long-Term Care Reopening Plan"

Jun 25, 2020
Good Samaritan Society

In The Moment … June 25, 2020 Show 846 Hour 1

Governor Kristi Noem has released her "Back to Normal Long-Term Care Reopening Plan." The multi-phase guidelines are used by nursing homes and assisted living facilities to shape policies for keeping residents safe during the pandemic.  Nate Schema is the executive vice president and COO of the Good Samaritan Society. He joins us to talk about the potential application of the plan in South Dakota facilities. 

Health reporting on SDPB is supported by Monument Health of Rapid City


News: Jun 13 - 19

Jun 19, 2020

In this weeks podcast we get a COVID-19 update, hear about the issues with having a newborn during the pandemic, and a couple Political Junkies breakdown the top headlines from the week.

John Nguyen / SDPB

Governor Kristi Noem says the state has resources pre-staged in cities across South Dakota to respond if any planned protests get out of hand.

Meanwhile, the governor is calling on governing bodies and community leaders to have discussions on policing policies.

Governor Noem says her office is looking at resources and tools available to her to address what’s happening across the state and country following the death of George Floyd, a black man in Minneapolis who died after a white police officer kneeled on his neck.

Noem says she’s open to solutions

Governor Kristi Noem

May 14, 2020

In The Moment … May 14, 2020 Show 817 Hour 2

As the rest of the nation seeks ways to reopen the economy, South Dakotans were never on a statewide shelter-in-place order or lockdown. Many business owners and faith community leaders are seeking CDC and South Dakota Department of Health guidance to inform and support their individual decisions about what "Back to Normal" looks like. Governor Kristi Noem is with us today. 

Kevin Woster: Gov Noem & The Press

May 7, 2020

In The Moment … May 7, 2020 Show 812 Hour 1

Melissa Hamersma Sievers / SDPB

Governor Kristi Noem says a special session in June is unlikely.
That’s when the state will report April tax collections—when economic activity across the country slowed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Noem says she anticipates a serious budget shortfall because of the virus.
She says all options are on the table, including dipping into reserves.


Some employees of the Smithfield meatpacking plant in Sioux Falls are back at work. A COVID-19 outbreak shut the plant down in mid-April. More than a thousand cases are connected to the plant. At one point it had the largest cluster of cases in the nation. 

Governor Kristi Noem says President Trump’s executive order to keep meatpacking plants open puts federal departments in charge of overseeing Smithfield’s operations. 

Office of Governor Kristi Noem

A new national poll asks people how they feel their governor is handling the COVID-19 response.
South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem and President Donald Trump each have approval ratings below 50 percent.
However, researchers say there’s a wide margin of error.

Political Junkies: The "Back to Normal" Plan

Apr 29, 2020

In The Moment ... April 28, 2020 Show 806 Hour 2

Sanford Research On Hydroxychloroquine

Apr 17, 2020

In The Moment ... April 17, 2020 Show 798 Hour 1

This week, Governor Kristi Noem joined South Dakota Public Broadcasting for an hour-long conversation about Sars-CoV2 and COVID-19 in South Dakota. We asked for your questions, and you responded. Many of those questions were about hydroxychloroquine and the statewide clinical trial of the anti-malarial drug on South Dakotans. Joining us for more on the clinical trials, we welcome Lora Black, senior director of Clinical Research, Sanford Research.