PIERRE, S.D. (KELO) — South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem presented her budget plans to state lawmakers on Tuesday.

Noem proposed increasing the budget reserves to 14% of the general fund. It currently is 12%.

Noem said general fund revenues grew 15.7% in fiscal 2021 that ended June 30, three times the normal rate for South Dakota. Noem reminded legislators that stronger revenues result because people and businesses are spending more. She said South Dakota also received “a giant handout” from Washington, D.C. She said it should be spent in South Dakota because it would otherwise go to other states.

She also recommends a 6% pay increase for state workers, a 6% increase in education funding (that should go to educator salaries) and a 6% increase for our health care providers.  Noem says these hard working South Dakotans have been on the frontlines during the COVID-19 pandemic and they deserve our gratitude.

You can view the slides used during the budget address below and find more budget-address related documents on the S.D. Bureau of Finance & Management website.

Follow KELOLAND reporters Dan Santella and Bob Mercer on Twitter for live updates.

Published 6:05 a.m.

KELOLAND’s Capitol News Bureau reporter Bob Mercer says to look for Noem to say that South Dakota has the strongest economy in the nation right now. She is also expected to recommend state lawmakers set aside hundreds of millions of dollars for water projects throughout South Dakota.

Thanks to Congress, all 50 states have received billions of dollars to keep their economies running during the COVID-19 pandemic. South Dakota has seen hundreds of millions in coronavirus-related relief from the federal government.

State government closed the 2021 budget year on June 30 with a whopping $86 million surplus. That was four times more than for 2020.

The 97th South Dakota Legislative Session starts on January 11, 2022.