Despite expressing misgivings, Governor Kristi Noem has signed the state’s main budget bill into law. She also signed the bill authorizing a 4-year cut in the state sales tax from 4.5% to 4.2%. Noem had wanted to cut the state’s tax on groceries.
Noem noted in a letter to lawmakers that the Joint Committee on Appropriations forecast more revenue than her finance office had estimated.
Lawmakers used the additional $87 million to also provide 100% reimbursement to Medicaid providers as well as freezing tuition at South Dakota’s public universities and technical colleges and setting $11.4 million aside for future Medicaid expansion costs.
Lawmakers also approved seven-percent percent increases for K-12 education and state employees while Noem had recommended 5% increases.
Noem says she’s responsible for ensuring that additional spending in the state’s budget is sustainable into the future. Noem says, “only time will tell if it was a wise decision to spend these additional dollars.”
If Noem had vetoed the budget, it likely would have been overridden by the legislature since it passed with little dissent.
March 22, 2023