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February26

Bills supporting three percent increase pass Senate

Two bills intricately tied to providing the three percent increase to state aid for education passed the Senate on Tuesday.

 

Senate Bill 157, which provides an appropriation to the Building South Dakota fund, and Senate Bill 158, which revises certain funding provisions of the Building South Dakota fund, both passed on 35-0 votes. Last week, members of the Senate State Affairs committee passed both bills unanimously, as well.

 

ASBSD supports both bills.

 

SB 157 proposes payments of $30 million spread over three years for the Building South Dakota fund.

 

Senator Corey Brown said the bill is a “prefund” for the Building S.D. fund and “defines what’s going to happen the next three years” with the fund.

 

An amendment introduced and passed on the Senate Floor for SB 157 dictates where the $30 million is deposited – into the South Dakota Management fund – and has interest built up during the three-year distribution period.

 

SB 158 would repeal required ongoing future payments and the automatic payment mechanism to the fund and provides legal codification for SB 157.

 

The bill also “creates a (funding) floor for the Building South Dakota” fund, said Sen. Brown.

 

A provision in the bill, passed as an amendment by the Senate State Affairs committee, provides any surplus dollars from the fiscal year to the Building S.D. fund if the state’s reserves are at or above 10 percent of the state’s general fund budget.

 

Sen. Brown noted that none of original programs funded by the Building S.D. fund would be affected. The fund was established by last year’s Senate Bill 235 and provided dollars for state aid for ESL students, CTE programs and education programs preparing students for the workforce, in that order.

 

Each bill moves on to the House for debate and decision.

 

For updates on the bills, check the ASBSD Blog and Bill Tracker page.

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