Lawmakers Dispute Funding Procedure
By Kealey Bultena
Leaders in Pierre disagree about the proper way to fund the governor’s initiative to recruit workers to South Dakota. The House passed a bill Thursday that includes five million dollars to search for skilled laborers, but not everyone believes the legislature is following the rules.
Representative Bernie Hunhoff says Democrats support much of the South Dakota WINS initiative, but he questions a facet to recruit workers using a private company. He says it’s a brand new program and the state constitution requires a 2/3 majority vote instead of the simple majority used on the House floor.
Lieutenant Governor Matt Michels addresses Hunhoff’s concern that the program is a new endeavor.
"It technically is not. The recruitment piece of it is, but if you look back a couple of years ago when the federal stimulus dollars came in for workforce retraining, enhancement, recruiting, for people that lost their jobs, that was part of the general bill as well. So this is just a continuation of that," Michels says.
Michels says it’s common to amend funding for the current fiscal year. Yankton’s Representative Hunhoff says that’s for ongoing expenses, and the Governor himself acknowledged South Dakota WINS as a new program in his State of the State address.