Press "Enter" to skip to content

Noem Raising Highway Patrol Pay Without Direct Legislative Approval

A week after announcing emergency pay raises to prevent the staffing shortage in our state prisons from getting even worse, Governor Kristi Noem announced pay raises for the South Dakota Highway Patrol.

The Bureau of Finance and Management says Noem is moving $513K in the budget to gives troopers and specialists an extra $1.50 an hour. This budget move comes as a surprise to the legislators who write the budget:

Members of the Appropriations committee, like House Chair Chris Karr (R-Sioux Falls), say much remains unknown about where the money came from.

“The Appropriations committee met the same day (August 24th) that these were announced,” Karr said. “We had BFM in front of us, and this was not mentioned.”

Rep. Linda Duba (D-Sioux Falls), also a member of the Appropriations committee, says she still has questions about the funds as well that have not been answered. Including how they were paid for, what is the long term commitment for the budget to them, and why the changes weren’t reported beforehand to the committee.

…“I’d say you’d have to ask the Governor why she doesn’t want to communicate with the legislature and the appropriations committee, and have discussions about spending dollars in the interim to determine how much of an emergency this is,” Karr said. “And also, why we didn’t have an opportunity to discuss what the commitment is that she is making for future budgets.”

Both Karr and Duba say they intend to ask BFM and DPS specific questions about the raises during their next Appropriations meeting on September 15th [Austin Goss, “DPS Pay Raise Announcement Lacking Details, Lawmakers Say,” KSFY, 2022.09.01].

When Sioux Falls mayor Paul TenHaken wanted to give cops and other city workers a raise a couple months before his election, he still had to get approval from the city council. You’d think that when the Governor wants to hand out more cash to her personal bodyguards and other state police, she’d at least have to check in with the Legislature that worked so hard to craft the budget and explain how she’s balancing the books.


  1. jim 2022-09-02 07:11

    Wasn’t she claiming a few weeks ago that out-of-state law enforcement officers were beating down the door to move to South Dakota? By the thousands!


  2. 96Tears 2022-09-02 07:33

    This is theft. Just like giving $200,000 of our taxes to Hicks-dale College’s political hacks for rewriting public school curriculum to fit its racist worldview.

    The Snow Queen doesn’t recognize the three branches of government. She’s decided she has legislative powers to spend our taxes without the legislature’s involvement. She doesn’t talk with the public if they aren’t sycophants. She doesn’t answer to the press. She doesn’t respond to legislative inquiries of her unethical and illegal expenditures and campaign/personal uses of state property (state aircraft) and her abuses of state employees. She uses the state highway patrol to provide security when she’s outside South Dakota on her presidential campaign appearances.

    Kristi Noem is a common thief. The dumb-dumbs in the legislature and state justice system lack the spine and the moral compass to stop her.

  3. John 2022-09-02 07:53

    I’ve written it here before: the South Dakota legislature provides no governmental oversight. Now its appearing that the South Dakota legislature has no idea what’s going on.

  4. O 2022-09-02 08:18

    Who officially sets the terms and conditions for the highway patrol workers?

  5. Jeff Barth 2022-09-02 08:49

    Big pay increase just before the election…
    Reminds me of our Sioux Falls mayor and his $2000 bonus for cops.

  6. Guy 2022-09-02 12:51

    I’ve said it before on this Blog: the state legislature is “Tsar” Kristi’s “Duma”. If you know Russian history, Tsar Nicholas’s attempt to appease the peasants with his Duma was a joke. It was supposed to be Russia’s Congress, but, it was just a rubber stamp organization for the Tsar to appear he supported Democratic principles. The Duma’s inaction eventually led to his downfall.

  7. grudznick 2022-09-02 13:12

    grudznick suspects Ms. Duba and Mr. Karr just have sour grapes and have forgotten that the legislatures aren’t the micromanaging puppet masters of the Executive branches. They should run for Governor if they want to approve every hiring and firing and piddly raise. grudznick always suspects when you have the two fringes holding hands you just have the most ineffective in the legislatures spitballing behind the professors back while he’s writing on the blackboard. And where is Mr. Nesiba on this? He seems always to be hollering for more raises and Ms. Duba just follows his lead like a trick pony. Why are some raises good and some raises bad? I say the legislatures should be in charge of every raise and personnel decision.

  8. larry kurtz 2022-09-02 13:20

    Cops’ lives suck so it’s difficult to imagine an additional buck fifty an hour is going to do very much to ameliorate that suckiness.

  9. 96Tears 2022-09-02 14:49

    Yep. That was predictable. One of the 5Ds. Distract.

    The issue is not whether the officers deserved and needed the raise. Nobody in this thread has said anything of the kind.

    The issue is this governor’s over-reach to appropriate money that she could have had allocated legally if only she showed up to work, paid attention when others talk and had the pay raises waiting for dispersal.

    But no. AWOL Kristi is lazy and incurious. Now she realizes she’s got a political problem because she and The Lew were too busy jet-setting to other states on her national campaign/honeymoon while the appropriations committee met for a few months last winter, made their decisions and passed the appropriations bill. That’s the bill she signed in between out-of-state campaign trips, so there’s no excuse for AWOL Kristi to say she was taken by surprise.

    Clawing back $513K and allocating it for another purpose is legal for the legislature to do, but not for a chief executive to do unilaterally. Basic civics stuff. They call the separation of powers. It’s in the constitution.

  10. O 2022-09-02 14:56

    Won’t that make inflation run amok?!

  11. Arlo Blundt 2022-09-02 15:22

    96 tears is right. Grudznick is dead wrong. What slush fund did this half million come from?? How was it appropriated by the legislature. What was the legislative intent when this money was included in the budget? What did the Governor, in her budget message say she needed the money? How was it transferred?

  12. Jake 2022-09-02 17:35

    Questions, questions, questions!!! So far, crickets as usual from any powerful GOP legislators. Its starting to appear that only the governess can garner any press with her out-of-state spokes-piece, Fury. Or mayhaps the “Lew” can chime in his 2 cents worth.
    Allowing this woman another 4 years in power would be like rolling around in poison ivy knowing full well the outcome.
    Elect Jamie Smith-“A Democrat with Heart” and a “mind of/for the people”!!

  13. All Mammal 2022-09-02 18:53

    What? She does what she wants, gosh

    Since she screwed over law enforcement with letting every Tom, Dick and Harry conceal a freakin cop killer upon their person-Legally, she evidently must try to win them back. If I were them (if pigs flew and weren’t pigs) I would laugh at her raise and tell her to keep it because she obviously needs it more than me.
    Where is the compensation for the double or triple amount of work plopped in the laps of teachers and paraprofessionals? Lordy. Poor Representative Smith when he gets the reigns. He is going to have a sty going on to bring to order. There are so many South Dakotans who cannot wait. Its going to be great.

  14. sx123 2022-09-02 20:20

    Noem weaponizing the police – OK
    Noem weaponizing jail workers – OK
    “Weaponized” FBI doing their job – NOT OK

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.