South Dakota governor calls on lawmakers to invest in state’s workforce

Published: Dec. 7, 2021 at 4:53 PM CST
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PIERRE, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - During her annual budget address, South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem called on lawmakers to help her invest in the state’s workforce and build for the future.

The governor said in her budget address that it is no secret South Dakota’s Department of Corrections needs improvement, and recent studies show the need for $600 million in new construction and facility improvement. That’s one focus as the state builds for the future.

Noem also called on lawmakers to address staff shortages within the department and prison system. She also touched on teacher pay in South Dakota, announcing a 6% increase for educators and other district staff.

“This 6% increase is unprecedented, but also necessary,” said the Republican governor. “Many of these positions in these three areas are not keeping pace with their counterparts in the private sector or other states. They deserve our support – let’s give it to them.”

Noem announced another 6% pay increase for state workers and healthcare providers.

To address families affected by lack of quality childcare, Noem said through federal funds the Department of Social Services will use $100 million to provide grants for startup and one-time costs for new daycare centers.

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