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Secretary Craig Price talks Noem security, HB 1089

Noem and her cabinet say that they only use the money allotted to them by the state legislature for security, and are adamant against releasing it.
Published: Feb. 4, 2021 at 1:27 PM CST
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PIERRE, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - Governor Kristi Noem (R-South Dakota) and her cabinet officials are strongly advocating against revealing the costs of security for the Governor.

The controversy started when it was revealed last year that Noem was traveling out of state to campaign for then President Trump, and using South Dakota Highway Patrolmen as her security officers while doing so.

After a number of media outlets were declined on requests to reveal the cost of sending state security officers out of state, Republican State Rep. Taffy Howard (R-Rapid City) proposed HB 1089, which would reveal the lump sum costs of Noem’s security. Howard and other Republican legislators have received pushback for their involvement with that bill. Howard remains adamant about her bill, and says that it would not present the Governor with any sort of security threats moving forward.

In an exclusive interview with Dakota News Now/KOTA Territory News this week, Noem suggested that if journalists want to know the costs of her security, they ought to ask her security team.

“That should be something that my law enforcement should reveal more than I should,” Noem said.

However, her law enforcement did not offer much more information as it relates to those security costs.

Secretary Craig Price argued that the cost of security directly correlates to the security itself, and thus, revealing even a lump sum could compromise Noem’s future safety.

“If I have a security system in my house, and... someone who wants to cause me harm knows that I have a $100 security system in my house, they know that isn’t a secure system,” reasoned Price. “They can have an opportunity to maybe get into my house and cause problems. If I have a security system that is $5,000 (and) that is a more difficult system, it is going to be more difficult to plan, breach, or to cause problems. We don’t want to get into talking about how much we spend, the dollars we do spend are appropriated by the legislature in our budget so it is really important we stay away from those and it is not something we are willing to compromise on.”

A number of other states, and the Secret Service, reveal detailed costs of their security services and operations for public officials.

Secretary Price will testify against HB 1089 when it arrives tomorrow in the House State Affairs committee.

To watch the full interview with Secretary Craig Price, click here.

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