PIERRE, S.D. (KELO) — The bulk of the afternoon session of the Joint Appropriations Committee meeting on Wednesday was spent on the budget hearing for the South Dakota Bureau of Finance and Management (BFM).

Though budget hearings were also held for the Governor’s Office and State Treasurer, the longest of the hearings was for the BFM.

In addition to a request to update computer systems, the main takeaway was a request to allocate funding to allow the BFM to hire additional employees.

BFM commissioner Jim Terwilliger noted that it is becoming difficult to recruit staff into specialized roles and emphasized the importance of hiring people in order to construct a plan of succession for the future.

Terwilliger also noted that in 2022, the BFM had an employee turnover rate of 30%.

Though a contracted consultant recommended that the BFM increase the FTE team to 16, Terwilliger instead asked for funding to hire 3 new FTEs, bringing the total to 10 or 11 FTEs. Asked why he was not pursuing permission to hit the recommended number of 16, he noted that he wanted to add fewer members to start with, and potentially revisit in the future if more are needed.

The positions Terwilliger looks to add are two financial systems specialists and one budget analyst.

Other requests by the BFM included allocations for consulting services in order to ease the burden on both the BFM and the state Department of Legislative Audit in preparing financial statements.

In the other portions of committee testimony, the Governor’s Office of Economic Development did not seek any changes in funding, and the State Treasurer fielded a number of questions about unclaimed property.