Budget Timelines Differ Between Parties
By Kealey Bultena
With just two weeks left in the main run of the legislative session, Republicans and Democrats in Pierre are searching for the best way to solve South Dakota's budget problems, and the parties still seem to have different timelines.
Republicans say South Dakota needs to solve its structural deficit this year. Republican Senator Shantel Krebs says the state can't put off fixing the budget woes.
"As Republicans and the leadership of South Dakota, we're doing exactly what we said from the beginning is that we need to figure out how to balance our budget because we do not have the money to cover that," Krebs says. "We are required by the state constitution to do just that for you as a taxpayer."
Krebs says that includes making cuts. But Democrats still don't agree with the one-year solution. House Minority Leader Bernie Hunhoff says in these last days, lawmakers need to recognize the state's budget shortfall isn't as simple as a one-time fix.
"I think everybody's come to the realization, I would assume in the executive and legislative branch, that we are not going to solve it right now. And it was a noble goal and a well-intentioned goal, but I think we've already seen through the departments, especially in the bureaucracy and even in health care and education cuts, that we're not going to solve anything by slashing 10 percent," Hunhoff says.
Legislators have just nine more days of regular session on the calendar, and both parties say they're looking for compromise.
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