PIERRE, S.D. (KELO) — Governor Kristi Noem on Thursday put her signature on the main budget bills funding South Dakota state government for the remainder of this fiscal year and the new year starting July 1.
But there’s still no resolution on HB 1281 that would require her to present any new federal-funded programs involving the new budget to the Legislature’s Joint Committee on Appropriations beforehand.
Her departing budget chief, interim commissioner Jeff Partridge, sent a letter last week to legislative leaders, raising questions about how 1281 would work.
Partridge warned that as many as 10 more analysts would be needed between the state Bureau of Finance and Management, state departments and the Legislative Research Council.
“In addition, HB 1281 appears to require much more time year-round from the appropriations committee — will you be appropriating funds for additional per diem expenses year-round?” Partridge asked.
Seven legislators with current or past service as appropriators also sent a letter last week suggesting the bill should be rescinded or the governor’s veto sustained.
So far this session, Noem has issued one veto that was upheld. Lawmakers are scheduled to return to the Capitol on Monday to consider any vetoes. Friday is the deadline for a bill to be vetoed.
The budget bills were among the latest that the governor’s office announced she has signed. Later on Thursday, her office announced she had signed legislation for Dakota State University to have a cyber-security lab in Sioux Falls.
Another bill that’s apparently still unsigned was $200 million for housing infrastructure subsidies.
Noem wanted the Governor’s Office of Economic Development to get much of the money. But because of a stalemate in the House, legislators gave it all — $150 million of general funds and $50 million of federal aid — to the South Dakota Housing Development Authority for $100 million of grants and $100 million loans. The governor appoints the heads of both agencies.
The governor could allow a bill to become law without her signature. That however has rarely been used in South Dakota.