The 2022 legislative session is up and running and AARP South Dakota is making sure your voice is heard in Pierre. Here are some of the highlights from the last few weeks:
Back in early December, Governor Kristi Noem gave her annual budget address. Looking ahead to fiscal year 2022,
- Total state revenue is up 11.4% from last year’s historically high numbers.
- She expects that the state will be working with $215.5 million for one-time funding, plus an additional $166 million in general funds for the day-to-day operations of the government.
- To date, South Dakota has received $974.5 million from the federal government through the American Rescue Plan Act. AARP South Dakota is fighting to make sure this funding goes towards long-term care, housing, health care and public transportation.
In her budget, the Governor has allocated $50 million to connect all South Dakotans—regardless of where they live—to reliable high-speed internet. Without reliable internet access, communities lose out on opportunities to find jobs, stay healthy and for local businesses to prosper. This is an important priority for AARP South Dakota, we know that closing the digital divide also helps older South Dakotans remain independent as they age.
Finally, the Governor’s budget proposal includes a 6% ongoing funding increase for Medicaid providers, teachers and state employees.
On Tuesday, Governor Noem gave the State of the State address to kick off the legislative session. During her speech, she highlighted that her budget expands telehealth to emergency responders, and she called for the repeal of the bingo tax, which she described as a tax that falls largely on older South Dakotans and veterans.
Here are some of the other issues that AARP South Dakota will be keeping a close eye on this session:
- Health care access
- Online Voter Registration
- Property tax easements
Keep reading each week to learn about these issues and more during the 2022 South Dakota legislative session.
We will continue to keep you updated each week on these and other important issues that could affect you, your family and your community!
We invite you to reach out to our Director of Advocacy if you have any questions or ideas: Erik Nelson | 605-350-6348 | @enelsonaarp