South Dakota lawmakers criticize Gov. Noem on tribal checkpoints

South Dakota News

South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem announces on Monday, June 22, 2020, that city and county governments will be able to access federal coronavirus relief funds as she speaks at the Sioux Falls city hall in Sioux Falls, S.D. (AP Photo/Stephen Groves)

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — South Dakota lawmakers are calling for formal consultation processes between tribal and state governments after Gov. Kristi Noem’s handling of a conflict over coronavirus checkpoints set up by tribes.

Legislators on a committee tasked with navigating tribal relations are criticizing the governor for escalating the checkpoints dispute.

They say an established process for creating agreements would help settle conflicts.

The Republican governor and the leaders of several tribes have exchanged legal threats and barbs after Noem threatened to sue tribes in May if they didn’t remove checkpoints on federal and state highways.

The tribes set up the checkpoints to mitigate coronavirus infections.

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