Reinforcing her image as a voice of successful conservatism, South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem launched several “home run” remarks during her annual “State-of-the-State” address, including calls to eliminate fees for concealed carry permits, and for businesses in the state to start or maintain their operations.
According to KELO-TV, Noem “opened the 2022 session of the Legislature by proclaiming South Dakota the best it’s ever been.” The state reportedly has a $116 million tax surplus, and the Republican governor, in the final year of her first term, is hoping to pass the benefit of that surplus to taxpayers.
The Rapid City Journal reported Gov. Noem “proposed what amounted to a wishlist for conservative voters, promising to make it easier for state residents to get a permit to carry concealed firearms and nearly impossible for them to get an abortion.”
But KELO explained Noem wants legislation “that would outlaw all abortions once a heartbeat can be detected.”
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On the gun rights front, what Noem is proposing is not so-called “constitutional carry.” The state already has that because she signed such legislation into law when she first took office.
But carry permits—necessary for South Dakotans who want to travel to other states and carry their firearms under reciprocity agreements—are still available. The governor evidently thinks nobody should have to pay a fee for such a permit, or to pay for a related federal background check. According to the South Dakota Secretary of State’s website, there are more than 66,000 active carry permits in the sparsely-populated state, which doesn’t include the number of citizens legally carrying firearms without a permit.
According to Business Insider, “Noem enjoys strong support among South Dakota voters, with approval of her performance across five topic areas from an average of 61.2% of respondents and 74.5% of Republicans, according to polling by Mason Dixon in late October.”
She also might have national ambitions, the publication said, because this past May, “her campaign registered a federal political action committee, Noem Victory Fund.”
Gov. Noem has achieved national popularity with conservative voters, with appearances on cable news channels, especially Fox News. She isn’t afraid to answer questions and she does not habitually break into a cackling laugh in an effort to steer attention away from a question when she can’t answer.
During her address, Noem observed, “We are blessed to be living in South Dakota.” Looks like the majority of her constituents agree.
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