Lawmakers here in South Dakota are anxiously waiting to see what happens with $85 billion in automatic spending cuts if Congress fails to act.
The number that South Dakota lawmakers are facing may be much smaller than $85 billion, but it's still a big cut, especially for those putting together the state budget.
However, lawmakers are optimistic and are hoping something gets done soon.
"In the current fiscal year that we're sitting in now, the FYI 13 budget, it's approximately $8 million," Chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee Senator Deb Peters said.
It may not seem like much out of South Dakota's more than $1 billion budget. But it will affect everything from education to our state's military bases. Peters says it boils down to some tough decisions.
"How much of that can get away from, how much do we need to be continually relying on the Federal Government? And then the other side of it is, if the Federal Government decides to not do something or do something, it could really have an inverse impact on sales tax revenue," Peters said.
She says if the cuts do go through, or if new cuts are still drastic, it could have a significant impact on how they prepare for the next state budget.
"If the economy slows down, we’re going to have less money to spend on programs to offset some of these cuts that the Federal Government is going to push down," Peters said.
They do have around $26 million in one-time money that they could use this year to offset any national cuts. But that still wouldn't solve the problem.
"They are ongoing expense cuts. So if we're going to back fill these cuts, we’re looking at approximately $24 million total on an annual basis ongoing. So we've got some big decision to make as far as where our priorities as," Peters said.
Peters says she just hopes that Congress does something.