Republicans: Fix Structural Deficit This Year
By Kealey Bultena
The Governor and Republicans leaders want to end South Dakota’s budget problems this year. Three work groups are developing means to make that happen, and Republicans say fixing the problem now is their only real option.
Early in the session, Democrats introduced a plan to eliminate South Dakota’s structural deficit in three years instead of one. Senator Tim Rave says Republicans considered a two-year fix, but that means the state shells out more money in interest.
"If you spread it out, then there’s nothing to look forward to next year except another five percent cut. And so, we certainly could do that, but then guaranteed next year, we’re not talking about raises, we’re talking about a five percent cut. Who knows what happens the next two years, and some of us may or may not be here," Rave says. "But those difficult decisions I don’t think go away unless somehow we fix them, and again those ideas are still floating around."
Democrats counter that fixing the budget in one year doesn’t actually solve the deficit. They say it shifts the burden of funding essential services from the state to local communities.
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