Budget Targets Set For 2020 Session

Feb 13, 2020

Credit Melissa Hamersma Sievers / SDPB

Statehouse budget wizards are adopting revenue targets $19 million above Governor Kristi Noem’s proposed budget for the next fiscal year.

Legislative leaders say they hope to focus those dollars on the so-called “big three.”


Despite losing about $22-$25 million on internet access tax and reductions in tobacco tax revenue, appropriators are looking at revising both current and next fiscal year budgets upward.

Lawmakers say they will have ongoing discussions about giving inflationary increases to education, state employees and community support providers. According to the Bureau of Finance and Management, a one percent increase for those sectors would cost around $15.6 million.

Senate Minority Troy Heinert is a Democrat from Mission.

“We’ve said from day one that we want to follow the law. I think that money is there,” Heinert says.

However, Heinert says he’s cautious about the spring weather and its potential impact on the state budget.

One critic of the budget says the budget is under-projecting revenues by about $14 million.

However, Senate Majority Leader Kris Langer says the potential for spring flooding impacted budget setting.

The Dell Rapids Republican says that it makes it a challenge to set revenue numbers.

“Trying to figure out where the ag market is going to be, that makes it a challenge for appropriators to try to be aggressive in terms of where their number setting is at, but realistic because if the ag market is truly hurt by the weather again it definitely impacts our budget.”

Governor Kristi Noem is encouraging the legislature to craft a conservative budget. She says she doesn’t want the state to overshoot its revenues and find itself in a place where it has to make cuts.