Governor Dennis Daugaard outlined a spending plan for South Dakota government which anticipates slow and steady growth in fiscal year 2017.

Saying that the state’s financial health is strong, Daugaard says being conservative has paid off. “Despite pressure to adopt revenue estimates above recommendations and historical trends, we’ve worked together to adopt conservative revenue estimates with a high probability of attainment. Because of that fiscal year 15 ended about $10 million above our revised estimates.

Going forward Daugaard projects a trend of lower net farm income to continue. However, four other economic indicators show some employment growth, steady unemployment numbers, continued increases in of housing starts and non-farm income growth. “The moderated forecast is for continued slow and steady growth in South Dakota. We continue to be conservative in economic and revenue forecast as we’ve done the past several years.”

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The Governor says that about $59 million of ongoing revenue growth will available to legislators. Daugaard proposes the money to be used in multiple areas.

One of them being to reduce debt being held by the Board of Regents and the Technical Institutes, Another would include a small bump to Medicaid. Also Daugaard suggests some to be used to fortify programs that are based on volatile federal funds.