From protecting property rights to expanding markets, my administration is committed to developing the state's agricultural economy and give more young people the opportunity to thrive as farmers and ranchers.
Connecting South Dakota
Did you know that about 88,000 South Dakotans lack high-speed internet access? In 2019, the Legislature approved $5 million in grant money to bring internet access to underserved parts of the state.
Equipping our National Guard
South Dakota has a strong legacy of military service. With over 72,000 veterans and more than 4,200 enrolled members of the National Guard, our state understands the importance of answering the call to serve. Year after year, our National Guard is recognized nationally as an example to the nation for readiness, efficiency, and superiority.
Leading the Way in Cybersecurity
Dakota State University in Madison is one of the most technologically-advanced universities in the Midwest. Our priority must be not only in training this cybersecurity workforce, but also in attracting or creating companies in South Dakota to keep our graduates here at home.
My Second Century Initiative is a strategy to increase resources for habitat management. As part of this plan, the Legislature approved $1 million to leverage additional funds from private donations and federal conservation programs, which will help establish real momentum for habitat.
Highlighting Foster Care
I'm committed to using my microphone and my influence to educate people about the need for more foster families. The next generation of South Dakotans will not thrive if they don't have a home. A place to grow up. A family to love them.
Battling the Meth Epidemic
Meth destroys people, but it does much more. It destroys families. It hurts our kids, and we see that in our schools, in our foster families, and in our health care providers. In the coming months and years, we’ll work toward expand prevention and treatment programs. We need to do more to educate our young people about the effects of meth and give them strategies to avoid it. We’ll also help every South Dakotan learn to identify the early signs of meth use to increase early referrals to treatment.
Addressing the Stigma Around Mental Health
In South Dakota today, about 30,000 adults and 9,000 kids live with serious mental health conditions. With nearly every family and every community impacted, it's overloaded the system. As a result, too many are falling through the cracks. Too often, there is a stigma surrounding mental health. Life is tough, and when you feel like you're playing a losing hand, depression or anxiety is more common than you may think.
People don’t like talking about tough things - things that make us uncomfortable or sad. Things that make us feel small. Things that are heartbreaking. Suicide is one of those things. The State is taking action to make a difference in this area, too. I've mobilized my Departments of Health, Social Services, Education, Agriculture, and Tribal Relations to develop a comprehensive plan to prevent suicide in South Dakota. September is Suicide Prevention Month and over the next few weeks we’ll be reaching out to community members, faith leaders, and other organizations for their input as we build a plan that empowers communities to fight the issue head-on. We’re committed to shining a light on this problem.
Revitalizing Rural South Dakota
I’m asking school leaders to work with me to dramatically increase work experience in our high schools. We need more CTE and skills training in high school. We need more apprenticeship programs. And we need more opportunities for young people to get out of the classroom and experience a real job. I believe the most sustainable way to strengthen rural communities is to expand economic opportunity, and that can only come from a healthy workforce. I am fully committed to revitalizing South Dakota’s rural culture, so small-town schools and businesses can thrive for generations to come.
Making Government More Transparent
I’m committed to building the most transparent administration South Dakota has ever seen. I’ll bring debates and meetings from the boardroom to your living room by utilizing free technologies like YouTube, Facebook Live and other apps. We’ll modernize and expand existing transparency websites by adding all agendas, minutes, and livestreams to a centralized online location.
Strengthening families is a key element to every decision I make as governor, and I’m committed to keeping it at the center. Because strong families create strong communities. And strong communities create a stronger South Dakota.