Brookings-area lawmakers share thoughts on Noem's budget address


BROOKINGS – Political representatives for District 7, which includes Brookings, offered their thoughts following South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem’s budget address to legislators on Tuesday afternoon.

“The governor’s suggested budget has some good investment ideas,” state Sen. Tim Reed said in emailed comments to the Register. “I’m very excited about the suggested $6.5 million in ongoing mental health funding. But I’m not sure the 6% increase for the big three will be enough to cover inflation.

“Our revenues have increased over the past several years and tax relief is possible. The Legislature needs to review the governor’s position and discover if a reduction of food sales tax is appropriate,” he continued.

Incoming state Rep. Roger DeGroot wrote “The address was extremely positive.” He added that his key takeaways were:

  • South Dakota’s economy is the strongest in the nation
  • Unemployment is at an all-time low
  • Record ongoing revenues (unprecedented), with already large reserves, etc.

“The ‘big three,’ including education, is recommended to receive a 5% increase, (and) with last year’s 6% is an increase of 11% over the past two years. That is close to the 6% I talked about when campaigning,” DeGroot said.

Incoming state Rep. Mellissa Heermann also shared her thoughts on the governor’s address.

“It was encouraging to hear the positive economic metrics for our great state of South Dakota as we go into session coupled with a conservative forecast of future revenue,” she said, adding that “I also was glad to see a common theme of supporting South Dakota families throughout the address.”