South Dakota Democratic leaders issued the following statements in response to Governor Noem’s 2023 State of the State Address:
SDDP Chair Randy Seiler: “Even though Governor Noem was just re-elected to serve the people of South Dakota, it seems she already has her eye on the next job, and her State of the State address reflected that. South Dakota needs a governor focused on serving South Dakota, not generating national attention and controversy to boost a presidential run.”
Read More: Asked by Fox News if she’d consider a 2024 presidential run, Noem said “that’s fair to say.”
Senate Democratic Leader Reynold Nesiba: “What I was most disappointed about, both with Governor Noem’s speech and her overall approach, is the lack of attention to the child care crisis in South Dakota. South Dakota is the only state in the country that doesn’t have an early education council. We’re one of a handful of states that has no state aid to fund early education, and this is compounded by the fact that we spend very little state funding on childcare. If we are going to have affordable, high-quality childcare that pays a living wage, then the state is going to have to step up and do its share.
“If we’re bringing new people and new families to South Dakota, we have to address this childcare crisis to build our workforce and to meet the needs of all South Dakota families, including those that are already here.”
House Democratic Leader Oren Lesmeister: “I enjoyed hearing about job creation and economic development in the state, but we’re here to solve problems, not sugarcoat the truth, and Governor Noem didn’t talk about the real problems our state faces. With so many open jobs across the state, where does our workforce come from and how do we provide the housing those folks will require?
“I commend the Governor on her proposal on paid family leave, but we need a plan to replace those folks in the workforce, too.”
Assistant House Democratic Leader Erin Healy: “It’s apparent that Governor Noem is focused on her impending presidential run. We know she doesn’t spend much time here in South Dakota with South Dakotans and I think we can expect more of that when she announces her national run.”