Noem says state needs fiscal discipline as FY21 budget is unveiled

PIERRE, S.D. (KEVN) - Gov. Kristi Noem laid out her proposed fiscal year 2021 budget Tuesday, recommending close to $4.94 billion.

South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem. (KOTA TV)

That recommendation is less than the revised FY2020 budget that was about $4.97 billion.

Noem says the state needs to focus on fiscal discipline, implementing efficiencies as well as transparency in the government.

With the U.S. GDP growth expected to be lower in 2020 than this year, South Dakota is expected to be more conservative in spending, especially due to the uncertain outlook for the agriculture sector. Another factor is the loss of about $20 million in revenue due to Congress killing an internet tax that South Dakota and several other states were charging.

Still, the governor wants to pump more life into the fight against meth addiction. She is asking for $3.7 million for intensive meth treatment and enforcement.

Noem’s budget also allocates $9,918,359 to fund disaster relief. More than 60 South Dakota counties were impacted by storms in 2019.

The governor is recommending $22,650,251 FY2021 general fund increases, targeting these areas:

• State Aid to K-12 $8,867,096
• Consumer Expansion $8,045,432
• State Employee Health Insurance $4,134,191
• Mandatory Provider Inflation $3,769,933
• Confronting Meth Epidemic $3,712,208
• Food Service and Utilities $1,659,834
• Family First $1,119,505
• Assisted Living Rate Tiers $1,087,634
• Maintenance & Repair $325,362

The governor also recommends a cut of about $8.88 million in several departments.

The proposed budget goes to the Legislature to debate and finalize during the session beginning Jan. 14. FY2021 is July 2021 through June 2022.