South Dakota’s revenue figures from the holiday season brought with them some cheer and a note from Gov. Kristi Noem during her State of the State Address that any extra money should be prioritized for K-12 education.
“Since my budget address, revenues have been slightly better than expected,” Gov. Noem said during her address on Tuesday (1/14).
“My number one priority with additional, on-going money will be to provide increases for K-12 schools, for providers and for state employees.”
Gov. Noem stated last month that “money is tight this year” and thus she would “not be able to recommend inflationary increases” for K-12 schools, but had “conversations with legislators on how they are going to try to find ways to do more” in terms of funding increases.
With both sets of revenue collections – those from Gov. Noem’s revised FY20 projections and those adopted by the legislature during last year’s legislative session – in the black in December, there seems to be more optimism that funding increases are possible.
“We have had two different months of collections since I presented my budget,” Gov. Noem said at her press conference following today’s (1/14) State of the State Address.
“We have seen increased revenues from those projections. Not dramatic, but it’s been positive.”
December’s revenue came in $4.1 million higher than Gov. Noem’s revised projections and $2.6 million above what was adopted by the legislature. Sales tax collections were $1.7 million more than in Gov. Noem’s revisions and Unclaimed Property Receipts were $1.8 million more, while Unclaimed Property proved to be the biggest gainer on the legislature’s side, bringing in $1.7 million more than projected.
With the 2020 legislative session underway, revenue figures must continue to be watched closely as Appropriators and the legislature will continue to shape the Fiscal Year 2021 budget and any dollars above projections in the current fiscal year budget (FY20) could help schools receive a bump in funding for next year.
“I’d like to see them (legislators) first put that money into K-12,” Gov. Noem said during her press conference, adding that providers and state employees should receive an increase.
“That would be my first priority.”