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Lawmakers pass a budget

house vote.jpg
Lee Strubinger
House lawmakers vote on budget

State lawmakers passed a state budget. The total state budget is about $5.8 billion.

Lawmakers are placing $600 million in federal dollars into water and wastewater infrastructure grants. They’re also funding a majority of the $200 million in housing infrastructure grants.

Republican State Senator Gary Cammack says the investments would have taken the state decades to accomplish.

“It’s going to have an impact on quality of life. It’s going to have an impact on economic development. It’s going to have an impact on agriculture,” Cammack says. “The water piece was huge, the housing piece was amazing. It’s going to help every city, every rural community in the state of South Dakota. I’m really proud of what we were able to get done this year.”

The budget includes six percent raises for education, state employees, and healthcare providers. It’s the largest increase for what’s called ‘The Big Three’ in state history.

Governor Kristi Noem made the increase a priority in her budget proposal.

State lawmakers are also transferring savings from federal coronavirus relief dollars into on-time expenditures.

Those include future prison system construction, court-appointed advocates, literacy programs, and additional dollars for nursing homes.