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The Latest: GOP leader: Noem excited to move state forward

January 8, 2019
South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem gives her first State of the State address in Pierre, S.D., Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2019. Noem outlined priorities including connecting more people to high-speed internet. (AP Photo/James Nord)

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) — The Latest on South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem’s first State of the State address (all times local):

3 p.m.

South Dakota’s House Republican leader says Gov. Kristi Noem is excited to move the state forward, praising Noem for setting lofty goals in her first State of the State address.

House Majority Leader Lee Qualm said Tuesday that he’s looking forward to digging more into the specifics to make “some of these great things happen.”

Noem’s speech outlined wide-ranging policy priorities including improving state government transparency, connecting more people to high-speed internet and tackling methamphetamine abuse.

The Republican governor also says it’s time to start the search for South Dakota’s next big industries.

Democratic legislative leaders say they share Noem’s priorities in areas including drug addiction, workforce housing and job training.

But Democratic Senate leader Troy Heinert said Noem’s speech was missing discussion about the K-12 funding formula, getting people access to health care and online sales tax revenues.

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2:10 p.m.

South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem has outlined priorities ranging from improving state government transparency to connecting more people to high-speed internet in her first State of the State address.

The Republican governor said Tuesday that it’s time to start the search for South Dakota’s next big industries. Noem says she wants to break down barriers to filling workforce shortages, announcing a pilot project to build new modular multi-unit houses at the state prison.

Noem also says she’s directing the state to work with professional groups and licensure boards to review licensing requirements. She pledged to tackle methamphetamine abuse, saying a plan would reach her desk by the end of the legislative session to “stare down” the state’s meth problem.

Noem declared government transparency the “cornerstone.” She committed to working toward the most transparent administration the state has seen, calling for a reporter shield law and bringing more “sunlight to the statehouse.”

The 2019 session opened Tuesday and runs into late March.

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5:15 a.m.

Republican Gov. Kristi Noem is set to give her first State of the State address to lawmakers in Pierre.

The speech will be held Tuesday, when lawmakers gather for the 2019 legislative session. The session runs until lawmakers adjourn in late March.

It’s Noem’s first session as governor. She was sworn in to office over the weekend.

Noem has said she’ll release legislative priorities in the address and propose a state budget in the coming weeks.

Republicans hold supermajorities in both the House and the Senate.

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