Home
About
Agencies
Agency RSS
Agency
Listservs
Archives
Multimedia
Subscribe
Contact

Governor's Column: Promises Kept





 

 

          Office of Gov. Dennis Daugaard

500 E. Capitol Ave.

Pierre, S.D. 57501

605-773-3212

www.sd.gov

 

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  Friday, July 20, 2018

CONTACT:  Tony Venhuizen or Kelsey Pritchard at 605-773-3212

 

EDITORS/NEWS DIRECTORS:  Please consider the following column from Gov. Dennis Daugaard.

                              

 

Promises Kept

 

A column by Gov. Dennis Daugaard:

 

We had a lot of good news to share this week, all related to South Dakota’s outstanding financial condition. On Monday, we announced the close of the fiscal year with a surplus. On Tuesday, we got word that S&P is maintaining our AAA status. Then we learned on Wednesday that our Bureau of Finance and Management is being nationally recognized for its annual financial report.

 

The state’s finances have always been a top priority for me. When I campaigned for this job in 2010, it was the one thing I heard about wherever I went. We were coming out of the recession and, at the time, there was much attention on the federal deficit and the budget problems states faced nationwide. With stimulus dollars running out, South Dakota needed to get its financial house in order. As I visited communities throughout the state, I promised voters we would structurally balance our state budget.

 

Eight years later, I am proud to say we have kept that promise. South Dakota has achieved structural balance every single year, as well as a surplus for the last seven consecutive years. Most recently, on the last day of June, we closed Fiscal Year 2018 with a $16.9 million surplus. We remained in the black with state agencies spending 0.67 percent less than appropriated and revenues exceeding estimates by 0.38 percent.

 

Achieving structural balance is not easy. We have had to adjust our revenue projections during the past few legislative sessions because of a sluggish ag economy. We have also faced some uncertainty on the spending side as well, particularly with our state employee health plan and Medicaid enrollment costs, which can vary greatly from year to year. And I’ll never forget the difficult days of the 2011 Legislative Session when we had to make cuts.

 

But by adhering to conservative budget practices, the Bureau of Finance and Management and the Legislature have responsibly managed our money each year. Instead of adopting rosy projections and employing budget gimmicks to justify overspending, South Dakota is acting responsibly. We don’t spend money we don’t have, we keep our budget structurally balanced and we seize opportunities to spend in the short-term where it can lead to savings.

 

Judging by this week’s news alone, I’d say these practices are paying dividends.

 

-30-