South Dakota lawmakers this week plan to hear Governor Kristi Noem's first budget address and debate bills that would expand gun rights, void an activities association policy for transgender student athletes and block state officials from hiring relatives.

Noem will present her state budget proposal to the Legislature on Wednesday of this week. In her State of the State address earlier in January, Noem discussed priorities including mental health, fighting the methamphetamine epidemic and connecting more people to high-speed internet. She has said the budget address will follow the outline she gave in the State of the State.

The full state Senate is scheduled to take up a measure this week that would allow people to carry concealed handguns without a permit in South Dakota. It's a conservative prize that supporters hope will be won under Noem's new administration. Right now it's a misdemeanor for someone to carry a concealed pistol or to have one concealed in a vehicle without a permit. Openly carrying a firearm in South Dakota is legal.

A measure that would void an activities association policy allowing transgender students to request to play on the athletic team that matches their gender identity has been revived this year. It would require a student's sex to be determined by their birth certificate or a South Dakota High School Activities Association physical exam form.

And the Senate State Affairs Committee plans to take up a bill Wednesday seeking to bar state officials from hiring relatives. The proposal comes after Noem announced in December that her daughter would be a policy analyst in the governor's office.

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