Despite a tight budget, SD governor will increase some funding

PIERRE, S.D. (KEVN) - There won’t be much wiggle room next month when South Dakota lawmakers start work on the next fiscal year budget.

Governor Dennis Daugaard gave his annual budget address to the Legislature Tuesday, emphasizing that the state needs to be careful about spending.

That caution comes with the news that revenues for the current South Dakota budget year are roughly $34 million below expectations, largely because of short sales tax receipts. Daugaard says that shortfall will be covered by using reserve and other funds as well as reducing expenses by $16 million.

Economic projections are also on the conservative side. The U.S. GDP is expected to grow by 2.4 percent in 2018 and 2.2 percent in 2019.

“We expect positive economic growth but we need to be cautious,” Daugaard told lawmakers.

Still, the governor wants to increase funding $32.4 million across the state. Some of the areas to see funding hikes are:

• Education - $20.33 million (increasing state aid to education due to more students)
• Health care - $11.33 million
• Public safety - $2.6 million (including funds for a mental health court in Rapid City)

The governor proposed that the entire Fiscal Year 2019 budget be set at $4.67 billion.

Lawmakers will tweak the current fiscal year budget as well as set the next one when the 2018 Legislative Session starts next month.