Legislators are starting to dig into the proposals outlined in the Governor’s budget address for spending anticipated one-time dollars. In addition to the ideas presented on December 8, we are starting to see ideas from individual legislators on uses for one-time funds. The key theme I hear in our discussions is that we need to be careful about using one-time dollars for one-time projects, and not using this as an opportunity to create new programs with ongoing expenses.
One of the biggest requests is $100 million to expand access to broadband internet service. The next biggest request is to add $50 million to the healthcare trust fund, to provide increased ongoing general fund revenue in the future to support health care related programs. Another $21.7 million would be used to pay off two technical college bonds ahead of schedule.
The Governor is recommending $12 million in state money, to be matched with insurance money and private donations, to build the Dakota Events Complex on the State Fair Grounds in Huron. The new facility would replace the Beef Complex which was destroyed by fire last October, as well as replace the Sheep Barn. The goal of the new complex would be to attract regional and national rodeos and other events. An added benefit would be to allow 4-H livestock shows to be held in the same location as the open class livestock exhibits.
There are requests of $5 million each to fix old, state-owned dams that are starting to fail, as well as create a grant program for small meat processors to upgrade their equipment and facilities. The governor is asking for $4.1 million for expenses related to implementing commercial marijuana sales and use within the state. The Department of Revenue has hired a consultant who has worked with other states in implementing their marijuana laws, to guide South Dakota in implementing the provisions of medical and recreational marijuana approved by the voters.
I would like to see any extra one-time dollars invested in a way that will help improve our state’s infrastructure and spur economic growth for South Dakota. If you would like to see a list of the December 8 budget proposals, or offer ideas on how to use one-time funds, please feel free to send an email to email@example.com