In a radio address to the nation on January 1st, 1983, President Reagan said that "New Year's Day was an especially American tradition, full of the optimism and hope we're famous for in our daily lives-an energy and confidence we call the American spirit." Now, as we ring in 2023, I reflect not only on Reagan's words, but also on South Dakota's growth over the past year.
South Dakota is thriving. We have the strongest economy in America. We are the best state in the nation for personal income growth. We are the best state in the nation for veterans. And we are the best state in the nation for freedom.
In short, we are the best state in the nation to build the American Dream.
Our population continues to grow four times faster than the nation. This is because we kept South Dakota "Open for Business." We allowed South Dakotans to exercise their freedom and personal responsibility to create their own economic growth; to achieve the American Dream.
Thanks to the state's booming economy, the state government has generated record surpluses multiple years in a row. We keep breaking records for state revenues, and with the number of individuals and businesses moving to South Dakota, we know that this growth is sustainable. That is why 2023 will be the year of putting money back in the pockets of South Dakota families.
Last month, I unveiled my budget for this fiscal year. It is critical that this budget be executed in order to return our record revenues to the people. Taxpayer dollars belong to the taxpayers. This year, we will eliminate the state sales tax on groceries, support South Dakota schools, combat inflation, and strengthen our families, businesses, and infrastructure.
In 2022, I took a stand against China. While President Biden took no action against the Communist nation, South Dakota took the lead in protecting our people. I banned TikTok for state government employees. Now, many other states are following our lead. I also announced my plan to prohibit nations that hate America from purchasing our agricultural land, and I will work with legislators this year to make it happen. It is critical to keep South Dakotans' rural way of life protected, and that starts with preventing intervention from foreign nations like China. In 2023, we will continue to secure the people of South Dakota.
President Reagan said, "let us renew our faith that as free men and women we still have the power to better our lives. And let us resolve to face the challenges of the new year holding that conviction firmly in our hearts. That, after all, is our greatest strength and our greatest gift as Americans."
We can all appreciate Reagan's words as we face this new year with hope and optimism. My administration is dedication to protecting our small-town values and trusting South Dakotans to make the best decisions for themselves. Our state has had great success, and 2023 will show us that the best is yet to come. Happy New Year!