Noem speaks on Haugaard’s anti-abortion bill, critical race theory and marijuana

Noem(Dakota News Now)
Published: Feb. 17, 2022 at 12:20 PM CST
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - In Thursday’s press conference, Gov. Kristi Noem spoke on a number of topics including Rep. Steve Haugaard’s proposed anti-abortion amendment, marijuana in South Dakota, and the changes made on her Critical Race Theory bill.

Noem reacts to Haugaard’s proposed anti-abortion amendment

State Rep. Steve Haugaard (R-Sioux Falls) is sponsoring an amendment, House Joint Resolution 5003, which passed South Dakota’s House State Affairs Committee Wednesday by a vote of 8 to 4. If approved by both the House and Senate, the proposed amendment to the state constitution would go before voters in the form of a ballot question during the next general election this November.

Noem spoke out against the bill while touting her own anti-abortion executive orders.

“It completely bans those prescription drugs that are available to women across the state, which, which I think is wrong,” Noem said. “That is not at all what the intention of the measures that I’ve championed which is just not making telemedicine, chemical abortions more available over the internet or over the phone with strangers. What he’s doing is banning those drugs altogether and that could be detrimental to women who are going through very different situations.”

Noem speculated the reasoning behind his proposed amendment saying, “I think he’s trying to just draft policy to be more conservative than me because he’s running for governor, but he’s writing very, very bad policy.”

Noem’s response to the significant amendments to her Critical Race Theory bill

Dakota News Now Reporter Austin Goss asked Noem how she felt about the legislature striking the terms “critical race theory” from the title and the text of the bill, asking if it could still be considered a critical race theory bill.

“I think the amendments that were made dealt with the action and civics portion of the bill,” Noem said. “We do still support the bill.”

Legalizing pot in South Dakota

Noem said she has always been supportive of medical marijuana, as she says she is, “committed to having the best run medical program in the country.” However, Noem wants it to be FDA regulated and is mostly concerned about funding and whether the program would be able to pay for itself.

HB 1045, which is sponsored by State Rep. Ernie Otten (R-Tea) would “increase a tax on the gross receipts of all sales of marijuana,” and set the framework for how adult-use recreational marijuana would be taxed in South Dakota, should it become legal.

“The thing about this bill is it doesn’t legalize marijuana, but it works in tandem with what the voters will put on the ballot or whatever is coming this fall,” said Rep. Drew Dennert (R-Aberdeen). HB 1045 passed through the House Taxation Committee, which Dennert chairs. “If that legalizes marijuana, it still wouldn’t set up a taxing system, so this bill is extensive. But it set that taxing system up.”

Daycare Grants Dispute

A political dispute at the Statehouse led to confusion over grants being sent out to provide financial assistance to South Dakota daycares.

A memo from Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg’s office asserted that in order for the grants to go out, they require further legislative approval.

“An expenditure of state funds may only be made upon authorization through an appropriations act, or upon having been deemed appropriated by the interim appropriations committee,” the memo said, adding that the legislature has yet to appropriate any federal money.

Noem spoke out against the memo in Thursday’s press conference.

“It’s completely inappropriate for him to weigh in in situations that are discussions between myself and the legislature,” Noem said. “He obviously isn’t objective and he is not able to give an opinion that doesn’t have a slant towards opposing me. So it was inappropriate for him to do that. He should recognize that himself and let someone else give that opinion.”

South Dakota’s LGBTQ depression

South Dakota leads the nation in depression rates among LGBTQ people, according to a national study from

When asked why she thinks there are such high rates of depression in South Dakota, Noem said, “I don’t know. That makes me sad and we should figure it out.”

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