Governor Kristi Noem says she’s pleased with how the state budget for fiscal year 2020 turned out.
But she’s not the only one.
In her budget address, Governor Noem called for a 2.5 percent increase in funding for state employees and education. It’s considered a market adjustment.
That was slightly above what outgoing-Governor Daugaard called for.
And legislators agreed.
They also funded state employees healthcare, and did not recommend putting in place a premium.
Eric Ollila is the executive director of the South Dakota State Employees Organization. He says Governor Noem’s was a tough negotiator from day one.
“She really holds firm to her principles,” Ollila says. “I think we saw that from the front to the back. It’s nice to have her on state government side and on their team as their ultimate boss.”
Education funding also received a market adjustment of 2.5 percent.
Mary McCorkle is the president of the South Dakota Education Association. She says the ongoing increase is appreciated, but doesn’t make up for one time money given last year.
“We’ve obviously made some of that back,” McCorkle says. “But what happens over time is that if you don’t keep moving forward and recoup that then eventually you start to fall short overtime. We’re better than where we thought we would be, but we didn’t recoup all of that and that’s going to be an impact overtime.”
The house and senate spent all day Tuesday to finish final budgeting work… which lasted into early Wednesday. That was so lawmakers could get home before the winter storm.