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Noem vetoes South Dakota bill requiring legislative review of federal spending

"The bill is bad government, and it's going to slow it down for the people who utilize federal funds to help individuals in our state," Noem said.

Published: March 25, 2022 6:38pm

Updated: March 25, 2022 6:55pm

(The Center Square) -

South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem vetoed a bill Friday that would have required legislative approval before some federal COVID-19 relief money could be spent.

The federal funds included in House Bill 1281 are the American Rescue Plan Act; the Infrastructure, Investment and Jobs Act; and the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act. The bill would have expired June 30, 2023

The governor was critical of the bill before it was passed by the Legislature.

"The bill is bad government, and it's going to slow it down for the people who utilize federal funds to help individuals in our state," Noem said in a video.

In a letter explaining her veto, Noem wrote the bill "creates a complicated, at times, duplicative new process that makes it more difficult to understand and account for the operations of state government."

Specifically, the bill "improperly allows the Joint interim Committee on Appropriations to undo the majority of the legislature's vote on the fiscal year of 2023 budget bill," she wrote. "The bill does so by granting that committee the authority to appropriate or refuse to appropriate funds, even when the authority to spend was already addressed in the general appropriations bill passed by the entire legislature."

Noem also vetoed Senate Bill 151, which would have automatically removed Class 1 misdemeanors relating to marijuana use.

"Our current laws and criminal procedures already provide sufficient avenues for people who have earned that second chance," Noem wrote in a letter explaining her veto. "It also essentially codifies a convicted person's ability to be dishonest about their previous arrest and conviction by not requiring disclosure of the prior drug conviction."

Also vetoed was House Bill 1223, which gives a pregnant minor the right to consent to medical treatment even if there is no parental involvement. Noem wrote in a letter she understood why the bill was supported but said current laws allow physicians to treat minors without parental consent.

Noem signed House Bill 1033, which allocates $200 million in grants for affordable housing. The bill is not what she requested in her budget address in December, she said. The funding is allocated to the Housing Opportunity Fund which "targets" low-to-moderate-income families, she said. That "targeting" could cause "red tape" or delays, the governor said.

Lawmakers return to Pierre on Monday on "Veto Day" to decide whether they will try to override any of Noem's vetoes.

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