Pierre, SD -- Ever-cautious and prudent Governor Dennis Daugaard (R) was true to form in his final budget address to the State Legislature on Tuesday.
Daugaard proposed another cautious state budget, something that incoming Governor Noem can build on. Only modest 2.3 percent increases for education, Medicaid providers, and for pay raises for state employees.
The Governor was also cautious about the increased sales tax the state is expecting from online sales. The state won a big court case forcing all out-of-state online retailers to collect the tax, but Daugaard doesn't want the impact to be included in budget projections because it's too early to judge what will happen.
There was at least one new idea from Daugaard. To keep up with rising costs, he proposed that, for the first time, state workers should pay premiums, modest premiums, for their individual health insurance.
Daugaard spoke mostly from the head during his farewell address, but also from the heart. He choked up when he said how he was looking forward to spending more time as a dad with his children.
He also paid tribute to his deaf parents and how their hard work, frugality and common sense reflect the character of South Dakota.
"Daugaard received an emotional standing ovation as his final speech ended.
PIERRE, S.D. – Governor-elect Noem released the following statement following Governor Dennis Daugaard's final Budget Address:
“Governor Daugaard’s budget proposal focuses on the most important thing: balancing the budget. With that as the basis, I will work with the state legislature to strengthen families and communities according to the plan I laid out during the campaign – all without raising taxes for hardworking South Dakotans and maintaining our state’s AAA credit rating. I’m grateful for the opportunity to build on Governor Daugaard’s foundation of fiscal responsibility and his unwavering commitment to South Dakota."