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Noem’s Budget Adjustments and Emergencies Push Federal Share of State Spending in FY 2022 over 50%

On Thursday, I reported that liberally spending Kristi Noem is proposing a Fiscal Year 2023 budget that relies on federal dollars for 38.8% of its revenue. I noted that the current year’s budget gets 35.8% of its funding federal socialist redistribution of wealth.

But the Governor’s budget recommends $1.99 billion dollars in upward adjustments to this year’s budget and special “emergency” appropriations that boost South Dakota state government’s current dependence on Uncle Sam to over 50%.

The amendments to the FY2022 general appropriations bill alone actually cut state general fund outlays by $65.5 million. But the two largest cuts—$49.2 million from state spending on Medicaid and $39.1 million from payroll for public health and safety—are largely made up for by adding $86.4 million in federal assistance made possible by coronavirus. (Hey, is it possible Kristi Noem is prolonging the pandemic with her refusal to promote masks and vaccines and her anti-science misinformation because more coronavirus brings more federal coronavirus cash?)

South Dakota Bureau of Finance and Management, Governor Noem's Special Appropriation Recommendations: FY2022 General Bill Amendments, 2021.12.07.
South Dakota Bureau of Finance and Management, Governor Noem’s Special Appropriation Recommendations: FY2022 General Bill Amendments, 2021.12.07.

Noem proposes spending $25.3 million more in state money and $41.2 million more from the feds to cover more South Dakotans who’ve become eligible for Medicaid… which raises two questions:

  1. If we have “the strongest economy in America,” how come more people are falling into Medicaid eligibility?
  2. If we can afford to come up with $25.3 million from the state coffers to cover more people under current Medicaid rules, why can’t we come up with $32.6 million to expand Medicaid that would (a) cover another 42,500 South Dakotans, (b) draw another $264.5 million in federal funding (thank you, Presidents Obama and Biden) to send our healthcare economy skyrocketing, and (c) produce $63.6 million in general fund savings?

The $65.5 million net reduction of state general fund outlays is tempered by $18.7 million more in other state revenues (more than half of that boost comes from license plates reissuance—we must be plating a lot of RVs) and then thirteen-tuply swamped by $859.0 million in additional federal spending. 72% of that—$622.7 million— is pure covid relief booster to be spread out across state agencies. The next biggest chunk, $80.7 million, comes straight from President Biden: the American Rescue Plan’s 10% enhanced FMAP (federal medical assistance percentage—more Medicaid!) will help us spend more on home- and community-based services. South Dakota was the last state to submit a request for this funding, and the plan submitted asks for $70.8 million, not $80.7 million. So either President Biden just threw us an extra $10 million out of the goodness of his heart, or Noem’s budgeteers flipped some digits when typing up the budget.

Noem then asks for another $886.1 million in federal spending authority for “emergency” special appropriations, items outside the FY 2022 general appropriations bill. $600 million would support environmental projects—mostly all those water systems that thirsty communities are clamoring for. Noem wants Uncle Sam to pay $69.6 million for a new public health lab in Pierre, $60.0 million to improve water and sewer infrastructure at state facilities, $50 million to build sewers for cheaper new houses, $50 million to build more rural broadband, and $29.5 million in American Rescue Plan funding to demolish Lincoln and Briscoe Halls at Northern State University and replace them with a new facility for Admissions, the School of Business, and the SDSU Accelerated Nursing program. (Let’s see if NSU President Neal Schnoor invites Joe Biden to attend the ribbon-cutting alongside Noem, Al Novstrup, Carl Perry, and Drew Dennert to celebrate this 100% federally funded investment in Aberdeen.)

South Dakota Bureau of Finance and Management, Governor Noem's Special Appropriation Recommendations: FY2022 Emergency Special Appropriations, 2021.12.07.
South Dakota Bureau of Finance and Management, Governor Noem’s Special Appropriation Recommendations: FY2022 Emergency Special Appropriations, 2021.12.07.

When we combine adjustments to general appropriations and the emergency specials, Noem is asking for $1.993 billion in new spending between Session and June 30. 87.5% of that spending, $1.745 billion, would come from the federal government. That’s on top of $1.829 billion in federal spending authority already in the FY 2022 budget. Noem is thus asking the state to spend $3.574 billion in federal money in this fiscal year and a grand total of $7.108 billion.

In other words, if the Legislature approves Noem’s requests for budget adjustments and “emergency” spending in toto, Uncle Sam will be covering 50.28% of South Dakota’s FY 2022 budget.


  1. Bonnie B Fairbank 2021-12-11 10:15

    I’m thinkin’ right about now would be a good time for Mr. H. to insert the image of Our Dear Tw*tess holding up that “Let’s Go Brandon” shirt for pure, sickening irony.

  2. Marie 2021-12-11 10:51

    Governor Noem’s willingness to accept free budget rides over the past two years–courtesy of Federal Covid largesse
    –was matched by her singular meanness in refusing Federal Covid supplemental unemployment
    benefits for thousands of South Dakota unemployed workers–the only governor to refuse both the
    first and second round of federal supplemental supplemental benefits.

  3. Porter Lansing 2021-12-11 11:30

    C’mon, South Dakota.
    We, the liberals of America, don’t grumble about helping you out.
    That’s what government was designed for; no matter what “stick up their butt” conservatives will tell you.
    Helping small, underperforming states like SD helps America become “all it can be”.
    America needs places like your home state so we can learn from you and don’t become just like you.
    i.e. rigid, cold, and unable to adapt.
    You know, Edwin.
    Russian immigrants.

  4. Tim 2021-12-11 11:46


  5. mike from iowa 2021-12-11 15:32

    Moar socialism, Kaintuck’s Rancid Paul begs for federal disaster funds for tornado ravaged Kaintuck after years of voting against federal aid for everybody else. Hypocrite much?

  6. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2021-12-12 08:10

    Yup: socialism. That’s what Noem, Thune, Rounds, et al. have called all those investments the President and the Democratic Congress are making. It’s socialism when they vote against it, so isn’t it still socialism when they accept it to boost state spending in South Dakota?

  7. sx123 2021-12-12 08:29


  8. jerry 2021-12-13 19:15

    75 bed Custer long term health facility to close due to worker shortages.

    ““This is neither a financial decision nor a recent development,” he said in the news release. “Given the tight local job market, we’ve relied heavily on traveling nurses, traveling certified nursing aides and international workers to safely maintain care at the Custer facility.”

    Schmidt said the hospital is facing “intense competition” for travelers, and immigration challenges made it “nearly impossible” to recruit internationally.

    He told the Journal Monday afternoon that work force challenges have existed within the facility for a number of years, but particularly over the last couple of years.”

    A Democratic/Independent governor candidate could simply say that they would implement Medicaid if elected to keep people from losing the roof over their heads.

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