South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem said she is anticipating "substantial decreases" to state sales tax revenue and says the federal relief funds that have been allocated to her state come with too many conditions to be of use.
"Congress did send South Dakota $1.25 billion to us, but they tied our hands on how we can spend it," Noem said today at a news conference.
But, she explained that "the only way I can spend this money is on Covid relief."
Noem wants to able to use the money "to replace revenue loss."
The governor asserted that Congress wants her to "go out and create a bunch of new government programs" with the relief fund.
"I don't want to blow more than a billion dollars growing government creating massive new programs that aren't really necessary," she said.
"You listen to members of Congress and the White House — they say they don't want to bail out States that have been irresponsible. I understand that," Noem added.
However, Noem, whose state constitution requires it maintain a balanced budget, contends that her state has been responsible.
"It is not conservative to force a governor to spend money in areas that's not necessary and not allow me just to conduct business in a responsible manner that South Dakota always has," she explained.
She added: "I need Congress to allow states like South Dakota that have made good decisions, wise decisions that have balanced our budgets to make sure that we have the flexibility to do what's responsible."