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South Dakota governor declines federal unemployment funding

South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem (R) has turned down President Donald Trump’s executive offer of federal unemployment. The federal funding would have added $300 in weekly unemployment benefits to residents.

“South Dakota’s economy, having never been shut down, has recovered nearly 80% of our job losses,” Noem said. “South Dakota is open for business, that applies to our business owners and their employees.”

Trump took executive action last weekend to use $44 million in disaster relief money to help unemployed Americans after Congress failed to come to an agreement and allowed coronavirus unemployment benefits to expire.

States have to accept the offer from the Trump administration and create a new payment system to administer the benefits since it’s not part of the existing program.

The president tweeted on Saturday that four states have already applied and been approved for the program. Those include Arizona, Iowa, Louisiana and New Mexico.

“More states to come!” Trump tweeted.

Noem posted a Twitter thread explaining her decision.

“My administration is very grateful to @realDonaldTrump for the additional flexibility that the “Lost Wages Assistance” would have provided, but South Dakota is in the fortunate position of not needing to accept it,” she said.

The governor has gained national attention for being one of the only state leaders in the U.S. to not order some sort of shelter in place order during COVID-19.

“The facts on the ground here did not support shelter-in-place,” Noem said. “We just didn’t have the spread. For me personally, I took an oath to uphold our state Constitution. I took an oath when I was in Congress to uphold the United States Constitution. So, I believe in people’s freedoms and liberties, and I always balance that with every decision that I make as governor.”

Even though she isn’t accepting help from Trump, Noem continued to sing his praises and lay the blame on Congress for their gridlock.

“Despite significant disfunction in Congress, @realDonaldTrump continues to problem solve and provide great leadership during our #COVID19 recovery effort,” Noem tweeted.

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1 Comment

  1. Renee R August 17, 2020

    It IS different from state to state, but the DEMOCRAT states need it desperately because they’re insisting we all stay home. I’m in Calfironia dn cases of Covid keep climbing and the liberal mayors and the governor are acting like they’re Gods. It’s horrible here. Rural states are so different than places like New York or Calfironia.

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