PIERRE, S.D. (KELO) — The U.S. Department of the Treasury must give its blessing before several projects can move ahead that South Dakota lawmakers passed and the governor signed into law during the 2022 legislative session because they would use federal COVID-19 aid, a top state official said Wednesday.

State Finance Commissioner Jim Terwilliger told the Legislature’s Appropriations Committee that final federal clearance is needed on four bills. He said a special application needs to be filed for each. There is a September 24 deadline. “My understanding is Treasury is taking these in rolling fashion,” he said.

His comments came during an update on South Dakota’s use of federal coronavirus funding.

The legislation :

SB 33 appropriates $5,750,000 for upgrading medical facilities at the South Dakota Women’s Prison at Pierre.

SB 43 appropriates $8,000,000 for renovations and expansion of the West River nursing center at the Black Hills State University-Rapid City campus.

SB 44 appropriates $29,500,000 for demolishing Brisco Hall and Lincoln Hall at Northern State University in Aberdeen and constructing a new Lincoln Hall.

SB 58 appropriates $69,615,000 to convert the current State Health Laboratory in Pierre to house the state Department of Health and construct a new public health lab there.

Terwilliger said his office is working with the Guidehouse consulting firm to strengthen the applications as much as possible before submitting them.

State government contracted with Guidehouse to “(p)rovide support for the state’s expenditure of funds related to CARES Act stimulus funding, perform end-to-end grant management services, advise and assist with COVID-19 Treasury reporting, and assist the state with designing, implementing, and running the American Rescue Plan Stabilization Grant for childcare providers.”

South Dakota’s state government has received nearly $2 billion of federal COVID-19 aid so far.

The largest chunk appropriated to date was $600 million for the state Board of Water and Natural Resources to disperse to communities and rural systems for water and sewer projects. Terwilliger said the board has obligated about $480 million so far.