Gov. Dennis Daugaard delivers final budget address

PIERRE, S.D. (KSFY) - Governor Dennis Daugaard gave his final budget proposal to a joint session of the state legislature.

The governor made it clear his $1.7 billion plan is a recommendation for Gov.-elect Kristi Noem, who takes over in January and who attended the address.

The governor first choose to talk about the newly added internet sales tax.

"FY20 revenue projection will not, will not incorporate any potentially new e-commerce sales tax revenue," he said.

Lawmakers agreed with Daugaard, time is needed to see how much revenue that internet tax generates.

"I think he made some good choices on this budget first, not including the internet sales tax," Rep. Michael Clark, Hartford (R), said. "There's just really too many unknowns about bring it in the budget, until we get some hard numbers."

"He's being conservative in that and he explained his reasons for that, the uncertainty," State Sen. Reynold Nesiba, District 15 (D), said.

Gov. Daugaard's plan calls for more than a 2 percent pay increase for state employees, while at the same time, mandating those employees contribute more for health insurance coverage.

Nesiba said that would be an example of the state giving, then taking away.

"There are going to be some people who have the state giving them a raise and in the same way taking it away in higher premiums, and I think we can do better, I hope we can find another source of revenue rather than effectively taxing our state employees to pay for their own health insurance," he said.

Gov.-elect Noem will propose a budget plan of her own next month with both sides of the aisle waiting to see how many of Gov. Daugaard's recommendations end up being part of her plan.

"I think we should wait and see what numbers come out," Clark said. "I know that the governor-elect has been working very hard on the budget, on her own budget. I also know that the appropriations committee had been meeting coming up with their budget ideas. So, we'll have to wait until session starts to see what numbers actually come out."

Both lawmakers told me they commend Gov. Daugaard's eight years of service to the state.

"We're going to miss Governor Dennis Daugaard he has really put the state on a strong fiscal footing," Nesiba said. "He really has addressed our fiscal deficits and rightly received applause for that today."

"I think in the eight years he'd made some good choices and I'm glad that he's leaving out on a high note," Clark said.

Gov. Daugaard finished his speech by getting a little emotional mentioning how he will have more time to spend with his kids and thanking his wife Linda.

Gov.-elect Noem released a statement following the budget address saying in part, "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."