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Daugaard: 'Hint Of Promise' In State Budget

September 12, 2011, 4:56 PM by Ben Dunsmoor

Daugaard: 'Hint Of Promise' In State Budget
SIOUX FALLS, SD - The possibility of South Dakota schools seeing an increase in funding during the next session is looking better.

In his first nine months as South Dakota governor, Dennis Daugaard had to propose a lot of controversial cuts to balance a state budget with a multi-million dollar deficit.

At Monday's Downtown Rotary Club lunch in Sioux Falls, Daugaard said there are signs of hope for the upcoming budget. Right now, he says the state has nearly $9 million more than expected in the budget.

"It's very early, but there's a hint of promise," Daugaard said.

State agencies are starting to put together the numbers, and sales tax revenue is up two percent for the first two months of the budget cycle that started in July. But, even though the legislature predicted it would be up three percent, the state is still in the black because an unexpected $9.5 million that was paid out in bank franchise tax by the state's credit card companies.

"The bank franchise is up so strongly that it's off-set that and then some, so we're about $9 million ahead of where we thought we'd be after two months of the 12-month year," Daugaard said.

And with that news in mind, state agencies are now starting to submit proposals for the next budget, which will be revealed in December.

Daugaard says the Department of Education is asking that the legislature stick to the school funding formula, something that hasn’t been done the last two years.

"The Department of Education for example is submitting a request to fully fund the school funding formula and whatever else they might have in increased costs," Daugaard said.

But while there are some positive signs, Daugaard has asked state agencies not to be too bold with their requests.

"Don't add back all the cuts that were made in the FY12 budget because those cuts were to balance out our revenue with our income and we need to remain balanced, so don't come in with big requests," Daugaard said.

Daugaard will deliver his next budget address December 6.

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