PIERRE, S.D. (AP) – Gov. Kristi Noem is proposing higher spending for education, state employees and Medicaid providers than former Gov. Dennis Daugaard suggested in his final budget address last year

The new Republican governor gave her first proposed budget to the Legislature on Wednesday. It includes a nearly $1.7 billion general fund for the budget year starting July 1.

Noem is proposing roughly $54 million in new ongoing spending, including 2.5 percent increases for education, providers and state workers. Daugaard had proposed 2.3 percent hikes in his December budget address.

Noem is also calling for one-time spending including $3.8 million for Medicaid providers, $5 million for nursing home grants and $5 million for expanding rural broadband. She’s also proposing $4.6 million to fight the methamphetamine epidemic, including more than $1 million for a meth media campaign.

Noem says her budget is structurally balanced and confronts the issues the state faces without tax increases.

Lawmakers will reshape the current budget and approve the next one during the 2019 session.

AP-WF-01-23-19 2211GMT

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