PIERRE—The Legislature’s appropriations committee defeated several measures to take extra money from the state’s trust funds and a reserve fund today.
The House Appropriations Committee killed trust-fund proposals from Rep. Paul Dennert, D-Columbia, and Rep. Brock Greenfield, R-Clark.
Cooper Garnos, R-Presho, who wanted to take about $30 million from the state’s property-tax reduction fund to provide one-time bonus payments to state government employees, Medicaid providers and school districts.
Jim Terwilliger, economist for the state Bureau of Finance and Management, said state government needs to keep intact the $107 million in the state reserve fund and the property tax fund because of the “volatile economic times.”
“We’ve had a lot of surprises with our revenue stream in the last couple of years,” he said.
Dennert, Greenfield and Garnos wanted to take extra money from the various accounts to reduce the impact of the $127 million of cuts recommended by Gov. Dennis Daugaard to eliminate state government’s deficit.
“That would just perpetuate overspending on our ongoing expenses,” Terwilliger said.
Said Greenfield, “I think it is important we have a multitude of tools at our fingertips.”
The House committee voted 6-2 against Dennert’s bill, HB 1227, and 6-2 against Greenfield’s bill, HB 1239. The Senate panel voted 7-1 against the Garnos bill, SB 199.
Rep. Susan Wismer, D-Britton, supported the trust-fund measures.
“I don’t think it’s the role of government to put money in the bank to earn money to live on,” she said.