Legislature to gather for Noem's first session as governor

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PIERRE, S.D. (AP) - Republican Gov. Kristi Noem is inheriting a state on solid financial footing as she enters her first legislative session as governor.

She's joined by a Legislature that will consider tough changes to South Dakota's criminal justice system, looser gun laws and allowing sports betting in Deadwood.

Legislators gather Tuesday for the start of the 2019 session and Noem's first State of the State address. Noem says she'll release her policy priorities at the speech and propose a state budget in the coming weeks.

Lawmakers are benefiting from positive state financial projections as they prepare to set government spending for the 2020 state budget year.

Noem, the state's first female governor, was sworn into office Saturday. She took over for Republican Dennis Daugaard.