Governor Kristi Noem reaffirmed yesterday that she probably won’t call the Legislature into a special session to adjust the budget for coronavirus and recession. At the same time, she signed an executive order extending our state of emergency and her concomitant emergency powers through December 30:
The second EO extends the existing COVID-19 State of Emergency for the State of South Dakota to December 30.
She said the second EO is necessary because federal law requires the state to have in place in order to be able to access federal funds [Reilly Mahon, “Gov. Noem Signs Two Executive Orders About Extending State of Emergency, State Licensing Boards,” KCAU-TV, 2020.05.26].
Watch closely: the Governor declares in writing that coronavirus “continues to pose a danger to the public health and safety in all of South Dakota” and that “the impending threat of COVID-19 is a public health emergency requiring the state to deploy substantial resources” and “to involve every state agency to help mitigate the impact of COVID-19 in our state,” but she is strongly disinclined to involve the Legislature in helping guide the deployment of those resources. Legislators, are you content to let the Governor handle this emergency all by herself without your input? Are you willing to let the Governor rewrite your budget by Executive fiat and spend $1.25 billion in federal aid without any Legislative check?