Gov. Noem speaks on budget proposal in Rapid City

RAPID CITY, S.D. — Governor Kristi Noem made an appearance at the Rushmore Hotel in Rapid City on Wednesday in support of her new state budget proposal.

The public was able to voice their concerns directly to the governor during her visit.

Rapid City Area Schools Superintendent Dr. Lori Simon says she has seen trends in what she suspects are more kindergartners over the years coming to school from a “meth environment”. With that comes a need for funding to help with behavior issues seen in those children.

“That does come at a cost to the school level in terms of the reports that are needed beyond the classroom teacher, and so I just think its important to note as you look at your overall budget, and the fact that no new money outside of special education will be coming to K-12.” said Simon.

Noem said in the past that the state has seen a “break down in society” and the responsibility of fixing it goes to the school. She said that her plan is to build accountability elsewhere. Noem also attributes high use to the low cost of meth and the lack of family engagement.

“Some of our biggest factors of why we’re dealing with addiction I would say is the break down of society and the family. That’s one of my core beliefs. When I see that it’s lack of supervision in kids, lack of engagement in the family. I quoted Ronald Reagan yesterday, in my speech, that all the problems can be solved around the dinner table.” said Gov. Noem.

Noem says mental health is also a factor in the high levels of meth use. Along with $3.7 million in meth prevention and awareness funding, Gov. Noem also added that $9.9 million in her budget is going towards disaster relief. Local governments will be able to finance loans through the state in order to pay for their portion of repairs by storm damage.

“We’ve always just replaced with what was there previously, we’re going to be improving. So this is a disaster mitigation, it’s called  the hazard mitigation program. Some of its grant monies that these counties, townships and cities will be able to access. Some of it is going to be financing and we’re going to facilitate all that financing as well to help local governments.” said Noem.


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