PIERRE, S.D. (AP) – The South Dakota Legislature opens its 2020 session today and the opening day highlight will be the State of the State address from Governor Kristi Noem.
The Republican who is beginning her second year in office told The Associated Press in an exclusive interview that she will use her speech to pitch prospective businesses on why they should move to South Dakota,
Noem said she will focus on “aggressive” economic growth in the next year after the state topped the nation in some undesirable categories last year including the number of unplanted agricultural acres – the result of unprecedented flooding – and the rate of in-state college graduates leaving the state.
Noem told The AP “South Dakota is open for business and 2020 will be a year of going after opportunities for our families” by touting the state’s low taxes and “reliable and dependable” workforce to attract business to the state.
She will point in her speech to businesses that have relocated to South Dakota, adding that she has been in discussions with several other businesses and hopes to announce their arrival later this year.
A report from the U.S. Congress’s Joint Economic Committee last year found that South Dakota college graduates are leaving the state at a higher rate than nearly everywhere else.
Noem said she is looking for ways to grow the state’s bio-technology, cyber security, and science industries so that engineering students from job offers from companies in state.