LIVE: Gov. Noem delivers 2020 State of the State Address

PIERRE, S.D. — Gov. Kristi Noem is delivering her 2020 State of the State Address live at the state capitol at 12:00 p.m. MST.

Among other topics, Noem will outline why South Dakota is the best state in the country to own and operate a business.

South Dakota is open for business.

That was the predominant message of Governor Kristi Noem’s 2020 State of the State address.

Speaking in Pierre on Tuesday, the Governor spoke directly to business people who are either starting a new business or planning to relocate, stressing the state’s business-friendly tax- and regulatory environment.

“In South Dakota, we believe in smart regulation,” said Noem. “We roll out the red carpet, not the red tape.”

Governor Noem also said the state must ensure that every resident can build their life and make a good living in South Dakota.

She said her “four pillars” for protecting South Dakotans are keeping taxes low, limiting government regulation, fighting government intrusion, and keeping government open and honest.

The Governor said her administration is working with the Municipal League and local governments to find a way to get their meeting materials online, like the state government currently does.

In her address, Gov. Noem called on legislators to do more to help expand rural access to high-speed internet.

She also highlighted the state’s burgeoning high-tech industry, including the South Dakota School of Mines’ Ascent Innovation Center, scheduled to open later this year.

She also shared positive economic news. The state’s revenues have been slightly better than she forecast in her budget address in December.

She said her top priority for additional ongoing money is to provide increases for K-12 schools, providers, and state employees.

The State of the State address highlighted key economic sectors, including tourism and agriculture.

She acknowledged how tough 2019 was for the state’s farmers and ranchers. But Gov. Noem stressed how important the trade deal between the United States and China will be for South Dakota’s ag producers, and announced that she and two South Dakota farmers and livestock producers will travel to Washington, D.C., tomorrow to witness President Donald Trump signing the agreement.

Gov. Noem also reiterated her four “guard rails” that she says must be part of any industrial hemp legislation, and said she hopes that her administration and legislators can reach an agreement on a hemp bill in the next few days.

Addressing the methamphetamine epidemic, the Governor said a controversial anti-meth ad campaign has had its desired effect of highlighting the problem, and called on legislators to fund additional support for intensive treatment programs to help those addicted to the drug.

And she announced that she will introduce legislation this session to combat human trafficking.

“While many people view these issues as data points, I want to remind you that each of those points is a person, and every person deserves our best efforts,” she said.

Governor Noem said the guiding principle of her administration is looking out not only for this generation of South Dakotans, but those to come.

“The north star that guides my every decision is the impact a policy, a piece of legislation, or program will have not only on South Dakotans today, but also on the next generation.”

Categories: Local News, Politics & Elections, South Dakota News