Anticipation Lingers Over Noem Budget Address

(WNAX) — South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem will deliver her budget address to the legislature tomorrow amid wide anticipation. Dave Owen, President of the State Chamber of Commerce and Industry, says there are mixed signals…

“Conventional wisdom says it’s gonna be a tight budget and I think it is, but sales tax revenues have been up three to four percent; contractor’s revenues up; more robust at seven percent. We’re going to lose some revenue for taxing access to the Internet.”

Owen says he expects a pretty normal budget process…

“My guess is it’s gonna be not a way tight budget, but it’s not gonna be real comfy. They’re not gonna have trouble spending it so I think we’re gonna continue to be what we always are; trying to be prudent with our pennies and funding government as best we can given the revenue, which will be not abundant.”

A number of interim committees have been studying issues like special education, mental health, industrial hemp and illegal drugs. Owen says most of those committees will have financial requests…

“The big challenge with any budget is asking the question…How much is enough?…When we do all these services, because you could take 100-percent of money out of the state and you couldn’t do all for anything so the summer studies quite often express a higher level of sympathy for what you might be able to do. The budget realities will scale some of those back.”

The 2020 legislative session will convene on January fourteenth.