(SDBA) — Lawmakers in Pierre say they are cautiously optimistic that the FY 2019 State Budget may include more money than expected. Late Monday, State Appropriators released their first look at budget numbers – effectively $19 million more in Fiscal Year 2019, and $16 million above what was originally forecast for the current budget year. Those numbers are based upon better than expected revenue collections the past two months, in the time following Governor Daugaard’s original December Budget Address. . . .
The higher than expected earnings the past two months essentially wipe out a projected $34 million budgetary hole forecast in December, freeing up ‘one-time monies’ lawmakers had not originally expected when they convened in January. But House Speaker Mark Mickelson says while the news is good, it’s important not to be overly optimistic. . .
State employee raises, which were not part of the Governor’s original budget in December, are being discussed again, as are education funding and healthcare needs. In all, Fiscal Year 2019 revenues which run from July 1, 2018 to June 30, 2019 are projected at roughly $1.6 billion. State Appropriators will continue to refine those numbers, and where the money will go, over the next three weeks in Pierre.