PIERRE, S.D. – Using a “Freedom Works Here” top ten list as a framework, South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem delivered an upbeat 40-minute State of the State Address to a joint session of the South Dakota Legislature this afternoon (Tuesday).
Governor Noem said South Dakota has embraced conservative principles and is doing better than every other state in the nation.
She mentioned that South Dakota is like a pilot project for conservative reforms to prove if they work.
Noem emphasized that South Dakota’s success is unprecedented and that the state has a limited window of time when the eyes of the entire nation are on it.
Noem credited her “Freedom Works Here” series of TV ads and follow-up efforts for increasing the number of non-South Dakotans interested in working in the state.
Her speech was a mix of new policy initiatives and recognition of individuals who have taken advantage of or were helped by her prior policy initiatives in education, the outdoors, and health care.
Noem hinted that she’ll make another attempt to block unfriendly foreign nations from being able to purchase farmland in South Dakota. Her attempt in the last session was unsuccessful.
Her address made no mention of state tax reform or reductions, major planks in her 2023 legislative program.
The second-term Republican also said 2024 would be a year of “Freedom of Life,” emphasizing programs that help mothers and children from pre-birth to age two.
Today (Tuesday) is the first of 38 scheduled days for the South Dakota Legislature. The Joint Appropriations Committee meets/met this afternoon with a review of Gov. Noem’s proposed fiscal year 2025 budget.
Additional legislative committees begin meeting tomorrow (Wednesday).
Legislators are also scheduled to hear the annual State of the Judiciary address tomorrow at 11 a.m. CT and the State of the Tribes address at 1 p.m. CT.