Making the Best State in the Nation Even Better
By: Governor Kristi Noem
March 31, 2023
As the 2023 legislative session comes to a close, I want to take a moment to look back at what the legislature and I were able to accomplish working together for the people of South Dakota. We advanced the American Dream. We provided opportunities for families to grow even stronger. And we have further guaranteed the safety of our people. Altogether, we made life better for South Dakotans.
First off, our daughters can accomplish anything they set their minds to. To send them that message, I opened my State of the State Address with a promise: to fix our state laws and Constitution so that they reflect that both men and women can hold office. I proudly signed legislation to change references to state officeholders in statute, and a constitutional amendment will be on the ballot in 2024.
As big an accomplishment as this is, we have done even more for the people of South Dakota this legislative session. Together, we are continuing to build and advance the American Dream. We’re addressing our workforce “growing pains” head-on by accepting out-of-state licenses for nearly every profession. Over 3,000 jobs will be needed every year through 2030 in professions affected by this legislation – this bill will help us fill them. It will allow Freedom-loving people from every corner of the country to move to South Dakota, join our record-breaking economy, and pursue their American Dream.
We also delivered more than $100 million in tax relief to the people of South Dakota. Although the legislature only published a temporary tax holiday, I am glad they agreed that such tax relief is necessary. And I will continue to work with them to deliver a permanent tax cut for the people.
I also worked with legislators to preserve South Dakota’s number one industry: agriculture. Our farmers are the heart and soul of this state, and they literally feed the world. They should not have to face frivolous claims that delay development and spike the cost of production. This legislation will protect the future of South Dakota ag and ensure that we can pass this thriving industry down to our kids and grandkids.
We are continuing to build stronger families in South Dakota. Now, our state laws will guarantee that it is the responsibility of both the mother and father to equally pay expenses related to pregnancy. The gift of a child is a beautiful thing, but too often mothers are faced with financial burden. They should never have to face that alone. Just as life begins at conception, so should financial support.
States have the responsibility to secure their own people. South Dakota is drawing the blueprint for state-led foreign policy. Early this session, I signed an Executive Order to restrict state and local governments from contracting with six “Evil Foreign Governments,” China, Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Russia, and Venezuela. The legislature then passed a bill to codify that Executive Order. This legislation protects our taxpayers’ dollars from becoming revenue streams for evil foreign governments, and it ensures that South Dakota will continue to be a beacon of Freedom for the rest of the nation.
South Dakota is the greatest state in America. It’s the best state to live, work, and raise a family. The best state to pursue the American Dream. I can see it, South Dakotans can see it, and Americans all over the country can see it. But there are always opportunities to do better. There were even more accomplishments than these. I am proud that this legislative session we improved the lives of South Dakotans.
Our state motto is “Under God, the People Rule.” There is not a doubt in my mind that, as long as we continue to listen to the people of South Dakota, we will always be the best state in the nation.