South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem Signs Bill Banning Transgender Hormones, Surgeries for Minors

Gov. Kristi Noem (R-SD) signed legislation Monday that protects minor children and teens from experimental puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones, and mutilating irreversible surgeries for the treatment of gender confusion.

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Chinese Nationals Have Bought Thousands of Acres of Strategically Located U.S. Farmland

Ownership of U.S. farmland by Chinese nationals has risen significantly in the last decade and amounted to 338,000 acres as of 2020, according to U.S. Agriculture Department data.

Since 2010, Chinese nationals have reportedly purchased an additional 75,000 acres of U.S. farmland, according to U.S. Agriculture Department data obtained by the WSJ. Although amounting to less than 1% of all U.S. agricultural land held by foreign citizens, ownership of U.S. farmland by Chinese nationals has received increased scrutiny in recent years following warnings from U.S. government officials claiming that the Chinese government may seek to use land for military and espionage purposes, according to the WSJ.

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North Carolina, North Dakota, Among States Phasing Out Income Tax

Americans in search of economic freedom and opportunity are flocking to Florida, Tennessee and Texas, and at least part of the attraction is that these three states, along with six others (Alaska, Nevada, South Dakota, Washington, Wyoming and New Hampshire), don’t levy an income tax.

Other states may soon follow.

“There are 10 states that are in the process of moving their personal income tax to zero,” President of Americans for Tax Reform Grover Norquist said on the John Solomon Reports podcast.

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Gov. Kristi Noem Demands Answers After Government Publishes Her and Her Family’s Social Security Numbers

South Dakota Republican Gov. Kristi Noem is demanding answers after her and her family’s social security numbers were published online as part of the House Jan. 6 committee’s records.

Noem’s attorney sent a letter Friday to the White House, the Government Publishing Office, the National Archives and Jan. 6 committee chair Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.), asking who was responsible for the leak and what remedies will be taken to protect the governor and her family.

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Tennessee, Georgia, and Virginia Among 18 States Banning Social Media App TikTok from State Devices

Following South Dakota GOP Gov. Kristi Noem’s lead, nearly half of U.S. states have put restrictions on or banned the use of Chinese-based social media app TikTok.

At least 19 states have banned TikTok on government-issued devices – Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Idaho, Iowa, Maryland, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utha, Virginia and West Virginia.

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South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem’s Health Department Fires Transgender Group Ahead of ‘Gender Summit’

South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem, a Republican, directed her state Department of Health to terminate a contract with The Transformation Project, a transgender activist group that is hosting a “Gender Identity Summit” next month, after The Daily Signal drew the governor’s attention to the summit and the group.

“Gov. Kristi Noem is reviewing all Department of Health contracts and immediately terminated a contract with The Transformation Project,” Ian Fury, Noem’s chief of communications, told The Daily Signal on Friday. “The contract was signed without Gov. Noem’s prior knowledge or approval.”

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Wisconsin Set to Receive Part of a Nearly $400 Million Settlement from Google over Location-Tracking Probe

Google agreed to a $391.5 million settlement with 40 states after an investigation found that the tech giant participated in questionable location-tracking practices, state attorneys general announced Monday.

Connecticut Attorney General William Tong called it a “historic win for consumers.”

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Commentary: With States Hands-Off, Homeschooling Takes Off

South Dakota epitomizes the rapid growth of homeschooling in America. Guided by the principle that parents, not the government, have the right to determine what and how their kids are taught, homeschooling families have overturned existing rules and batted down attempts over the last decade to impose new ones in many states, including South Dakota. 

What’s left in much of the United States today is essentially an honor system in which parents are expected to do a good job without much input or oversight. The rollback of regulations, coupled with the  ill effects of remote learning during the pandemic, have boosted the number of families opting out of public schools in favor of educating their kids at home.  

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New Study Shows Red States Handled COVID-19 Better Than Blue States

A new study by the Committee to Unleash Prosperity found that states led by Republicans did a better job than Democrat-led states at managing the coronavirus and keeping their states from slumping into an economic and social recession.

As reported by The Daily Caller, the three states that ranked the worst in mortality, economy, and schooling during the COVID pandemic were New Jersey, New York, and California, all of which had implemented some of the strictest lockdown measures in the nation. By contrast, the states that ranked the highest were Utah, Vermont, and Nebraska.

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New Poll Shows South Dakota Sen. Thune in Deep Trouble with Republican Voters

A new survey of Republican primary voters in South Dakota suggests that Sen. John Thune’s (R-S.D.) reelection chances were severely damaged by his public spat with former President Trump after the 2020 election.

The poll, conducted by pollster Fabrizio, Lee & Associates for the political action committee American Potential Fund, found that Thune, who just announced his reelection campaign on Saturday, would probably lose a primary challenge by Gov. Kristi Noem, or Dusty Johnson, a popular South Dakota U.S. representative. The survey also found that former president Donald Trump remains very popular with GOP primary voters (RPV).

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Commentary: The First Step to Rightsizing Education Spending Is Reforming Teacher Pensions

In the past year, Congress has rushed more than $204 billion in federal emergency funds to states to support K-12 schools. 

But 23 states had fewer incoming students this fall. This declining enrollment is likely in part due to pandemic-related trends but is also a symptom of changing birth rates and families geographically relocating.

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