Despite Surplus, State Still Wants COVID Dollars For Lost Revenue

Jul 22, 2020

Credit SDPB

Governor Kristi Noem’s state budget managers anticipate a nearly $40 million dollar decrease in anticipated revenue over the course of the current fiscal year.

The state ended the last fiscal year with a $19 million dollar surplus.

Once COVID 19 reached South Dakota, the state cut back on it’s operations.

Liza Clark is the chief financial officer for the state.

She says the $19 million dollar surplus is due to the state reducing it’s spending during the last quarter of the fiscal year and to utilize some CARES Act relief dollars.

Now, the Bureau of Finance and Management expects state revenues to come in about two and a quarter percent lower than anticipated.

“We expect to be lower than what the legislature adopted,” Clark says. “Obviously, we’re less than one month in to the new fiscal year, so it’s still too early to tell. We still do believe revenue replacement will be beneficial for state government.”

Mark Quasney is the state’s economist. He says he’s optimistic about the state budget, because South Dakota is not seeing a revenue decrease year over year.

“In light of the fact that this is the greatest recession—in terms of severity—for some of these numbers in terms of employment and GDP decline and all of that that we’ve really seen since the great depression or post-WWII era.”

Governor Kristi Noem is calling on Congress to allow states to use federal COVID relief money for revenue replacement. Congress is debating a fourth relief package.