Radio update report 6:30-pm (audio) 03-04-2010 - 03/04/2010
Governor Mike Rounds says the revenue estimates his office used when presenting the budget in December were only about two million dollars off of current estimates. He says the state has possibly hit the bottom of the recession.
"The legislature has the opportunity to actually set their revenue estimates," says Rounds. "Our recommendation after looking at the information and bringing it in, we think we’re pretty close. Which is good news because I think after looking at the December numbers, the blizzard really took a hit on this years revenue. But there was some reason for optimism that there was a little bit of a bounce back."
Rounds says compared to last year at this time, revenue flows are moving slightly faster.
Despite this, lawmakers still face a deficit and are nearing the time to finalize the budget for fiscal year 2011. Rounds says he hopes the legislators stay close to the budget he proposed in December.
"We did the best we could to deliver the services we believe are necessary for the citizens of South Dakota at a time in which we have more people looking for those services," says Rounds.
Governor Rounds says the state needs to use reserve funds in order to preserve programs.
"I think the role of government and elected leaders is to manage a budget, use the taxes that are available and the resources are available to reduce the amount of pain on individuals that need a helping hand," says Rounds. "There are a whole lot of people out there right now that are without a job, down on their luck. You don’t cut services and you don’t tell their kids you’re going to make it tougher on them to get an education."
Lawmakers say they will finalize the budget next week.
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