Tuesday marks the final time Senator Larry Tidemann of Brookings hears a governor's budget recommendations from the floor of a legislative chamber.
The Brookings Republican is retiring after 14 years as a state lawmaker. He is leaving the Legislature as Senate chairman of the Joint Appropriations Committee that oversees state government's annual budget.
He said this time was different. Republican leaders didn't know what Governor Dennis Daugaard had in mind until they went to dinner with him Monday night.
The Republican governor delivers his final budget speech and a farewell address Tuesday.
Daugaard was a state senator from the Dell Rapids area, then served eight years as lieutenant governor under then-Governor Mike Rounds, and won election and re-election as governor in 2010 and 2014.
Congresswoman Kristi Noem won the Republican nomination over state Attorney General Marty Jackley in June and edged state Senate Democratic leader Billie Sutton in last month's general election.
KELOLAND's Capitol News Bureau reporter Bob Mercer caught up with Tidemann Monday night as he prepared to leave the Capitol for what might be a last supper with the governor.
Mercer: You've been here a long time.
Tidemann: (chuckled) That depends upon what long-time means. Fourteen years.
Mercer: What have you seen change?
Tidemann: I've seen some change, but the process is still the same. You still go through and hear from the departments and find out what their budgetary needs are. I think the things that have changed are the people that are here representing. We've had that turnover because of term limits, because of people just deciding not to run.
Mercer: Do you know anything about the budget tomorrow?
Tidemann: I do not know that much about the budget yet. I have not been privy to that. I do know that right now the revenues are doing very well coming in. So that's a positive note. It's a little bit higher than what we projected last March. So that's good news. We don't know, the committee won't know, revenue numbers until probably February.
Tidemann: But things right now are tracking much better than they were a year ago. That's very positive.
Mercer: Thanks a lot.
Tidemann: Okay, you're welcome.