December 6, 2016
We are only about a month away from the start of the 2017 Legislative Session, and it promises to be interesting and challenging. Governor Daugaard delivered his FY 2018 budget address today to legislators. His proposal – which is a starting point for discussion on the state’s budget – reflects the 128th year of a balanced budget for South Dakota.
There are modest increases proposed for education, State employees, and community support providers. There is also a proposal to include $5 million for the Animal Disease Research & Diagnostic Laboratory (ADRDL) on the SDSU campus in Brookings. The lab was built in 1967 and expanded in 1993. It is overcrowded and needs to be updated and expanded to meet the animal health needs of South Dakota. This is important for human health, the state’s livestock industry, and wildlife. I have been working with livestock industry leaders and other stakeholders to find a way to modernize and expand the ADRDL, and appreciate the Governor’s comments on this important “front line” defense for human and animal health in South Dakota.
As we dig into issues important to South Dakota, I welcome your comments, questions, and suggestions.