South Dakota Municipal League requests Gov. Noem make emergency declaration
FORT PIERRE, S.D. — The South Dakota Municipal League has gathered the signatures of over 160 municipal and county officials in support of a letter to Governor Kristi Noem, requesting that she declare a public health emergency in the state of South Dakota.
“We believe this declaration would allow more options for the Governor and our local governments who are on the front lines,” stated Yvonne Taylor, Executive Director of the SD Municipal League, which was asked to coordinate the effort among the municipalities and counties.
In the letter released Monday morning, the SD Municipal League made the case that, while they acknowledge that Gov. Noem is trying to make the best decisions possible in this difficult time, an emergency declaration could help free up resources needed to deal with the problem. Federal funding for South Dakota is of particular concern.
A declaration of a public health emergency at the state or local level may be necessary for South Dakota to receive federal funding.
The Families First Coronavirus Response Act, that became effective April 1, provides funds to states for the public health emergency created by COVID-19. This act requires a state to issue an emergency declaration to access funds for South Dakota households under its SNAP provision for emergency allotments to address temporary food needs.
In addition, the recently enacted Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act creates a coronavirus relief fund that will grant South Dakota $1,250,000,000 to use towards expenditures incurred due to the public health emergency. A declaration of a public health emergency would give South Dakota access to these, and potentially others, much needed funds.
The letter goes on to request that the Governor take swift and decisive action on this issue.
Governor Noem is scheduled to give a live briefing to the media Monday, April 6, at 1:00 p.m.. MST to discuss the state’s response to the coronavirus. That briefing will be streamed live on NewsCenter1.tv