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Noem Budget Shorts New USD Nursing Building, Shifts Costs to Students

Among the brag sheets Governor Kristi Noem has forced the Bureau of Finance and Management to post to its FY2021 budget webpage is a sheet headed, “Investing in Next Generation Industries.” These talking points note that the Governor is responding to “greater demand for health professionals” by investing $5 million toward a new School of Health Sciences Building at USD.

Excerpts from Gov. Kristi Noem talking points on “Investing in Next Generation Industries,” BFM website, 2019.12.03

That’s great… except the Board of Regents asked for $10 million and now will have to shift more of the cost to students:

Lawmakers learned Monday that the Board of Regents had sought $10 million in general funds but Governor Kristi Noem instead recommended $5 million for a new health-sciences building at the University of South Dakota in Vermillion.

The regents now plan to get the other $5 million for the $22 million project through another bond from the Higher Education Facilities Fund that the South Dakota Building Authority oversees. Students pay 20 percent of tuition and fees into HEFF [Bob Mercer, “Governor Recommended Half of What Regents Had Wanted for New Nursing Building at USD,” KELO-TV, 2019.12.10].

Governor Noem’s shortchanging of USD and our nursing needs exemplifies the hidden cost of living in South Dakota. The state brags about keeping taxes low and government small, but that just means vital public needs like nurse education either go unmet or underfunded or raise costs for students and others ill-equipped to shoulder the burdens their stingy state government shirks in favor of conservative bragging points.

When USD breaks ground on that new nursing building and Her Highness the Snow Queen comes to make her speech and take credit, be sure she’s seated surrounded by all the students who are paying more of the bill out of their own pockets.


  1. jerry 2019-12-11

    Crystal GNOem was taught well in Washington to lie with a straight face, as we currently see with our three lying liars in Washington. South Dakota has a critical shortage of healthcare providers. Have the misfortune of going to a hospital in Rapid City and you will see mostly “travelers” who take care of you. That includes both nurses and doctors. We pay these “travelers” enough of an hourly wage to attract them and we also provide subsistence to include housing while here. Wonder why your healthcare premiums are so high? Look around at the health cathedrals being built that ain’t paying taxes.

    Rapid City builds a huge addition to the existing under nursed and doctored hospital with no personal to man either one. Now Crystal is playing word cynical word games on an urgent matter.

    South Dakota needs to demand better. Nurses should be paid to go to school, they should not have to incur any debt whatsoever if they stay and do salaried work in the state for at least 4 years. Paying Crystal’s debt for a state owned school should not be an option.

  2. grudznick 2019-12-11

    She should have shorted them another $5 million, and told them to keep on in the old building that’s been doing just fine. Just fine, I say. Then, maybe the teachers could get a few biscuits to go with their whines.

  3. Debbo 2019-12-11

    Those floating health care pros are more expensive than paying locals a decent wage. In addition, while the floaters are qualified, they have to learn the floorplan of every new facility and sometimes, in healthcare, a few moments lost are life and death.

    SDGOP’s biggest skill seems to be shooting citizenry in the foot. Folks are just about out of feet.

  4. jerry 2019-12-12

    On line sales have quit entirely, I guess. The state of South Dakota has failed to collect anything close to the $50 million they said they were gonna collect. Looks like we all started to use main street to make our purchases…so where are those sales tax dollars? Did I miss that in the budget that Crystal put out? Better put one of her kids on the job of finding where the money is…pay them more to do so.

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