Gov. Noem delivers State of the State Address
With one year under her belt as the Governor of South Dakota, Kristi Noem officially kicked off the 2020 Legislative session by delivering the State of the State Address, Tuesday.
One of the biggest topics of 2019 was industrial hemp, and it appears to be once again this year.
Noem says circumstances have changed since she vetoed a hemp bill last year. Noem said in her address, she wants to be proactive, and is open to signing a bill addressing the issue, providing it meets, what she is calling, her "guardrails."
House Minority Leader Jamie Smith says he believes that lawmakers can get something done, regarding a hemp bill, this session.
"We're starting at a place of, here is what she wants and here is what we have," Smith said.
Also on the agenda for Noem in 2020, she wants to find ways to keep students who graduate from South Dakota's Universities in the state.
District 7 Rep. Tim Reed agrees.
"We keep shipping students outside, they go to opportunities," Reed said. "If we create opportunities here, besides being able to continue building business in South Dakota, it also continues the population growth."
Though Noem did address many pressing issues, Smith wishes she would've gone into more depth.
"Her speech covered the high points, but really in no detail," Smith said. "It shows there is a willingness to take care of South Dakota's problems, but we still don't know what those details are."
Smith and Reed both hope that Democrats and Republicans can work together in 2020 to find solutions that benefit the state.
"Is it frustrating? Is it hard? Yeah. Are we going to disagree on some major issues? You bet. But ultimately, we're all here to help South Dakota," Smith said.
Gov. Noem is getting to work right away, she will be heading to Washington D.C. tomorrow at the request of President Trump.
Noem will be by the President's side as he signs phase one of the U.S. China Trade Agreement.
While in the nation's capital, Noem says she will speak to the White House about other issues facing South Dakota, including the meth epidemic, delivering better health care to Native Americans, and the natural disasters that plagued the state in 2019.