‘Stronger than it has ever been’: Kristi Noem shows how a state can thrive during COVID

She said Tuesday that South Dakota prospered "because of what government did not do."

Gov. Kristi Noem delivers her State of the State address Tuesday in South Dakota. (Gov. Kristi Noem/YouTube)

A Midwestern state continues to thrive, thanks to conservative leadership, vision, and common sense.

Gov. Kristi Noem delivered her “State of the State” address Tuesday from the South Dakota State Capitol building in Pierre. The multi-faceted speech kicked off the state’s 2022 legislative session.

During more than an hour, the popular first-term executive reminded residents that the Mount Rushmore State is succeeding because it protects people when necessary, while still allowing them to make the most appropriate decisions for their families.

Noem, who hopes to be reelected later this year, also focused on schools, with particular emphasis on keeping them open, combating critical race theory — with “true, honest history, both triumphs and mistakes” — curriculum indoctrination, and protecting girls’ sports.

Dr. Ben Carson, the famed neurosurgeon who served as the U.S. secretary of housing and urban development, made the trip west to support patriotic education.

Noem will also continue fighting to keep the state’s residents from being subjected to unnecessary federal vaccine mandates.

The Republican believes South Dakota succeeds year after year because of its fiscally responsible approach to business while allowing families to make their own life decisions.

South Dakota supplies residents with free COVID-19 tests, as leadership hopes to put the state in the strongest position to move forward. With the state’s financial surplus, the governor also handed out raises to state workers.

While President Joe Biden makes promises, Noem argues, South Dakota delivers. She said Tuesday that prosperity “happened because of what government did not do. We chose not to compromise our values.”

“We trusted our people. We’ve given them personal responsibility to make the best decisions for their families, and we’ve supported them with resources. We kept our economy open and we’re benefiting from that. Our kids have been in classrooms,” she told Fox News this weekend, then speaking about businesses, added, “What I’m concerned about, is the way this administration is attacking American enterprises and businesses and farmers and ranchers and not really dealing with the real issue, and that’s the control of out-of-country businesses.”

To that end, the governor is concerned with China controlling local markets, including owning a major processing facility in her state’s largest city, and with how the federal government permits this.

The population of South Dakota — nearly 1 million — is tripling its normal annual growth. From July 2020-July 2021, South Dakota’s population grew nine times faster than the national average.

Noem claims it’s because people want to live where their government respects them. South Dakota lacks great weather, but people prosper with its open spaces, low living costs, and no taxes on personal income, corporate income, or personal property. It ranks as the top state for helping small businesses get through the pandemic.

Finally on Tuesday, Noem asked legislators to ban all abortions once a heartbeat is detected while promoting foster parenting and adoption. Abortions are down 80 percent over the last decade in South Dakota.

Compared to its liberal neighbor to the east — with high taxes, left-wing schools, violent crime, poor leadership, an ongoing war on girls’ sports, and population decline — it’s clear what works and what does not.

Rumored for future higher office, perhaps vice president, the 50-year-old already served four terms in Congress, and says she has no intention to leave the northern plains for the Washington Swamp.