SD Lawmakers Pass Budget Bill for FY 2011

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It took them some extra time, but South Dakota’s state lawmakers have passed a budget for fiscal year 2011. In a late night vote last night (March 30) they passed a budget bill on a mostly party line vote. The Senate passed the budget on a vote of 20-14 (Senate Roll Call) and the House voted 44-25 to pass the budget (House Roll Call).

Republican Governor Mike Rounds met with Republican leadership to come up with a compromise on some cuts that were proposed. Democrats accused the Republicans of balancing the budget on the backs of students because cuts were made to the Board of Regents ($4.2 million in cuts), which will likely lead to an increase in tuition and fees at state colleges and universities, and they didn’t give state school districts an increase in funding. Lawmakers took $1.3 million from the Department of Education for postsecondary vocational education. A $1.5 million cut was also made to the state’s $5 million tobacco cessation and prevention program. Funding for the South Dakota State Fair was also cut by $100,000 which comes after an even bigger cut to the fair last year.

It’s possible that federal funding could be allotted to the state to cover costs of Medicaid, but that money isn’t guaranteed. If that federal funding does come in, some of the funding for programs that were cut may be reinstated. The governor may call legislators back to Pierre for a special session to decide on a new budget that includes federal funds.

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