Gov. Kristi Noem’s plan for the 2021 SD budget
PIERRE, S.D. — Disaster relief, public safety, and the future of South Dakota were all discussed in the 2020 – 2021 budget address.
Floods, tornadoes and blizzards have completely changed the course of the budget this year. With 63 South Dakota counties requesting disaster aid — Gov. Kristi Noem proposed a new loan program for cities, counties, townships and tribes that would allow them to apply for loans from the emergency and disaster fund.
“The state will continue to pay for 10% of the cost of the disasters, but now we’ll offer loans for the other 90%.” said Gov. Noem.
In the budget address, Gov. Noem stated that $9.9 million has been allocated for disaster relief and preparation.
Also on the agenda was investing in the future with money for internet access, cyber security, post-secondary education, and strengthening special education. Already investing $5 million in broadband this year, the governor plans to invest another $5 million in 2021.
“Half of our counties have areas where one in four people have no access to high speed internet. Last years investment of $5 million leveraged more than $11.4 million in direct project costs to increase connectivity across the state.”
In this year alone — 4,800 families have gained internet access through Gov. Noems plan to expand internet accessibility.
For 2021, Noem is also proposing $3.7 million for the fight against meth.
Also, $5.1 million is being dedicated to upgrading the state radio and communication system for law enforcement.
“One of my priorities is keeping South Dakotans safe; and one component of that is equipping our law enforcement and first responders with the tools they need to protect our communities.”
Gov. Noem also proposed major expansions at some of the states universities and budgeted more than $2.5 million to improve assisted living facilities in the state.
The total budget for the 2021 fiscal year is $4.92 billion.
If you want to see the Governor’s full address and read her comprehensive proposal, click HERE.