Radio Update Report 6:30pm (Audio)
Both State Democrat and Republican lawmakers say the budget has been a main focus this legislative session.
Senator Scott Heidepriem says democrats have several proposals including implementing a zero based budgeting system. He says this requires every state department to come before a legislative committee each year to justify every penny they spend and the services they provide.
"We believe that if we did that honestly and sincerely what we'd find is there's an awful lot of state government we could live without that is not delivering essential services to the people of South Dakota," Heidepriem says.
Heidepriem says zero based budgeting gives the legislature a chance to seek out inefficientcies in government.
Republican Senator Dave Knudson says recent projections from the Department of Education show fall enrollment numbers are higher than anticipated, which raises the Governor's projected budget deficit for fiscal year 2011. Knudson says despite this republicans are sticking to their goal of not using reserve funds to balance this year's budget.
"We in the leadership are keeping very close contact with our appropriations chairs and co-chairs to continue to look for opportunities for reducing the size of state government." Knudson says.
Both republican and democrat state legislators are looking to divest state funds from companies that do business with Iran. Governor Mike Rounds says he'll give his support, as long as the bill is specific and enforceable.
"There are some things that are more important that a return on a return on investment," Rounds says. "And if any of that money is going to a country which is turning around and using it against our citizens and our soldiers, then that's where we draw the line."
Forty-two legislators are supporting the bill.
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