Changes to Building South Dakota's Funding Raise Concerns
State legislators are changing the way Building South Dakota is funded. A conference committee on Senate Bill 158 approved an amendment that lays out a formula that is dependent on general fund, budget reserve fund, and unobligated cash. Representative Bernie Hunhoff says it complicates the process and leaves holes to not fund in certain situations.
“Well last year we passed Building South Dakota. It was a good bipartisan effort to expand economic development, recognizing that education is critical, that affordable housing is really a big part of it and that we need more grassroots economic development. And now, just a year later, we’re stripping out or defunding a lot of those really good parts of it by a really complicated mechanism that’ll allow the administration to play budget games. They’re leaving it intact, but they’re just leaving lots of opportunities to spend down reserves,” Hunhoff says.
Other opponents say the formula makes Building South Dakota’s funding dependent on whether the state had a good or bad fiscal year. Supporters say it brings clarity and that there is unanimous commitment to fund the project. The amendment passes with two conference committee members voting against it, and now must be approved by the House and Senate.