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Newscast 5.16.2024: Noem banned from 8 tribal reservations; Iowa files lawsuit against EV trucks mandate; South Dakota 2024 referendum measures taking shape; Iowa's Reynolds calls Trump trial a sham

South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem
South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem

Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds is calling Donald Trump’s hush money trial “a “sham.”

Iowa Attorney General Brenna Bird spoke similarly when she went in person to the trial in New York on Monday.

Reynolds said the criminal charges against Trump are eroding people’s confidence in the judicial system. Asked if she would go to the trial in New York to show support for Trump, Reynolds said she’s focused on signing remaining bills into law to close out legislative work.

“It is a sham. It’s an egregious act that’s taking place, and however you feel comfortable in helping relay that to the American people or to your constituents, that’s an individual decision. But I think I’ve been pretty clear on where I stand with it,” Reynolds said.

The Republican Attorneys General Association paid for Bird’s trip to New York. Reynolds says the Republican Governors Association hasn’t offered to send governors to Trump’s trial.

*In other news involving a tri-state governor, eight of nine tribal governments located in South Dakota have now banned South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem from their reservations.

The Lower Brule Sioux Tribe on Wednesday banished Noem from its reservation until further notice. That ban was first reported by the Rapid City Journal.

A few days ago, the Crow Creek Sioux Tribe became the seventh tribe located within South Dakota to ban Noem from its reservation.

The recent actions come following comments by the Republican governor alleging tribal leaders benefit from cartel activity. During a recent town hall meeting, Noem also said children on reservations “don’t have any hope.”

Chairman Peter Lengkeek said Crow Creek does not have Mexican drug cartels on their reservation. Lengkeek said drugs and guns are present on reservations, but noted “they pass over state highways getting to the reservation,” and added the governor isn’t willing to connect with tribes.

*Iowa Attorney General Brenna Bird says Iowa has joined lawsuits against the Biden administration and California to block their mandates that would replace many diesel trucks with electric trucks.

The regulations require an increasing share of new delivery and semi trucks to be electric over the next few years to help combat climate change. Bird says California doesn’t have the right to tell Iowa truckers what to drive.

Dale Decker is CEO of a trucking company based in Fort Dodge. Decker said his firm is investigating electric trucks, but added it is not practical to mandate electric trucks nationwide.
Bird joined the lawsuits with several other Republican attorneys general. According to a Des Moines Register count, she’s joined lawsuits against the Democratic Biden administration at least a dozen times since she took office at the beginning of 2023.

*The South Dakota Secretary of State office is working through four proposals to see if they all qualify to go before voters for decisions as ballot questions.

Groups that want to get measures on the November 5 ballot had to submit at least 17,500 signatures by early May, then the state’s agency that oversees elections determines whether they will get ballot certification.

So far, the Secretary of State has affirmed a measure to repeal state sales tax on groceries. The others being reviewed include whether to legalize recreational marijuana, on abortion rights and open primaries.

The official name for the food sales tax repeal is Initiated Measure 28. Dakotans4Health, TakeItBack, and the South Dakota Federation of Labor are groups behind the measure, and backers say ending the food sales tax is a step toward alleviating the financial strain faced by South Dakota’s families.

Recreational marijuana is currently legal in 24 states, with supporters pointing to economic advantages to the state economy from tax revenue. States collected nearly $3 billion in marijuana revenues in 2022, according to the Tax Foundation. Opponents cite potential social costs and health risks such as a higher risk of cardiovascular problems from marijuana use, as outlined in a recent study in the Journal of the American Heart Association.

South Dakota voters could weigh in on whether to legalize recreational marijuana for the third time in as many elections.

In 2020, South Dakota voters approved a constitutional amendment that included a framework to legalize recreational marijuana. That was overturned in the courts.

Voters in 2022 rejected an initiated measure to legalize cannabis.