PIERRE, S.D. (January 15th, 2020) – The South Dakota Democratic Party released the following statement in response to the State of the State Address by Governor Kristi Noem:

Similar to 2019, Gov. Noem again reviewed many of the same themes as last year – like strengthening our state for our young people and grandchildren, workforce development, and increasing access to affordable housing – things Democrats have been advocating for many years. Overall there wasn’t a lot of detail and no real surprises.

“It was good to hear that there may be more dollars in the budget than expected and that the intent is to apply it to annual funding increases for Kindergarten through 12th grade education, Medicaid providers and state employees. However, this shouldn’t be treated as secondary. We need to respect the statute that dictates this increase. It’s a top priority for our Democratic members.” – Rep. Jamie Smith, Minority Leader

The address made no mention of the nursing home crisis, said little about healthcare issues, and provided no detail for how we’ll combat the lack of mental health treatment. These are issues members of the Democratic Party are committed to solving.

“This Session, Democrats will put forth legislation to try to address these issues, along with addressing pre-k education gaps and revisiting the hemp issue. I know that Senate Minority Leader Heinert will be bringing some bills that can positively impact the Native American Community. We look forward to taking these important issues up this session.” – Rep. Jamie Smith

For more information, please contact South Dakota Democratic Party Vice Chair Nikki Gronli via email or call (605) 376-3337.