PIERRE, S.D. (KELO) — The South Dakota Joint Committee on Appropriations approved budgets for four agencies Thursday, those being the Governor’s Office, Investment Council, S.D. Retirement System and Department of Tribal Relations.

The Governor’s Office was approved for a budget of $2,789,385.

The Investment Council was approved for a budget of $27,764,798.

The S.D. Retirement System was approved for a budget of $5,264,281.

The Department of Tribal Relation was approved for a budget of $958,053.

Discussion was minimal on budget approvals, with three of the four agencies not requesting changes to their budgets from the year prior.

The Investment Council was the only one which requested a budget amount different from the year prior, requesting a 12.1% increase from the previous year. This was approved without questions.

A minor question did arise in consideration of the budget for the Governor’s Office, when Republican Sen. Jim Bolin asked about the Lt. Governor’s salary for session. Once it was clarified that the item marked Personal Services was indeed the session salary, the budget was voted on and approved.

Discussion was also held on the budget for the Dept. of Tribal Relations. Democrat Rep. Linda Duba questioned the number of full-time equivalent employees included in the budget, which is seven, and asked if they were all needed. Republican Rep. Venhuizen asked that the budget be supported due to the importance of the Department’s work, while it was also mentioned that the Office of Indian Education is also included within the Dept.

The budget for the Dept. of Tribal Relations was approved with a vote of 11-5, with 2 members excused.

A budget hearing was also held by the JCA for the Unified Judicial System, in which State Court Admin Greg Sattizahn provided a view of the system, highlighting the decrease and ensuing increase in court filings he says was caused by the pandemic and ensuing recovery.

The UJS fielded a variety of questions, including whether circuits should be added to South Dakota’s court system, or whether they should be reorganized. The answer given was that new circuits are not needed, as far as the UJS is currently concerned.

Overall, the UJS recommended a budget change for a Drug/DUI Court Treatment reduction of $415,419.