Daugaard Budget Summary
By Gary Ellenbolt
Governor Dennis Daugaard told the State Legislature the structural deficit in South Dakota government must be eliminated. That figure stands at $127 million. Today Wednesday the Governor proposed a minimum ten percent cut in state agencies, executive branch salaries, and K-12 education. Daugaard says the days of chipping away at the structural deficit cannot continue.
"It's not enough to go just part way," Daugaard says. "If we do, we'll be back here again next year talking about more cuts. And we will have squandered most, if not all, of our reserves. I'm tired of talking about cuts every year, and freezes. I'm tired of looking at death by a thousand paper cuts. We need to hit the reset button and get our budget to a new norm. The new norm for state government must be a new level of expenditures that equals our on-going revenues."
Daugaard compared the situation to removing a bandage-that he'd rather fix the budget all at once than doing it a little at a time, so the state can focus on growth. The speech was the first budget address of Daugaard's administration.
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