Noem fires back after Senate leader calls her 'weak'
Once allies, grocery tax, national ambitions have created conflict between Sen. Lee Schoenbeck and the governor
The rift between Senate leader Lee Schoenbeck and Gov. Kristi Noem grew wider in the past week after the two publicly criticized each other.
Noem on Wednesday accused Schoenbeck of lying about her desire to roll back the state’s sales tax on groceries, saying she came to him during the last legislative session asking for the cut.
“This is how Lee operates,” she said. “It’s unfortunate. He has not told the truth on a lot of subjects. He knows clearly that over a year ago I came to him and said I want to repeal the sales tax on groceries. He’s just been opposed to it the entire time and will use whatever tactic he has to try to stop me.”
The grocery tax repeal emerged as a key campaign issue for Noem as she sought re-election. During the last legislative session, Noem opposed an effort by House Republicans to lower the overall tax rate. When they made a last-ditch effort to change that to a grocery tax repeal, the Senate opposed the move.