Appropriations Votes Down Reserve Fund Options
By Kealey Bultena
As the Joint Appropriations committee took up the general budget bill, lawmakers lined up to pitch tapping into reserves to ease programs into fiscal cuts.
Both Republicans and Democrats proposed last-ditch efforts at tapping into South Dakota’s accounts to help offset cuts to Education and Medicaid. Republican Senator Todd Schlekeway advocates taking money from the property tax reduction fund to support education.
"I have been consistent. Hands off the trust funds. I’ve been consistent opposing sales tax increases. I have, however, been on record saying it’s okay to use a very, very small amount of our, what I deem unobligated reserves," Schlekeway says.
Other suggestions also utilize the money in the state’s property tax reduction fund. Additional amendments draw on dollars in the health care trust fund and the education enhancement trust fund. None of those was incorporated into the budget bill.
After considering dozens of amendments, committee members sent the finished budget to the House and Senate floors. Just one lawmaker, Democratic Representative Susan Wismer, didn’t support that move.
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