Legislators Watching Federal Financial Issues
by Jeff Rusack, Reporter
January 03, 2013 4:31 PM
While presenting a balanced state budget a month ago, Governor Daugaard took time to warn South Dakota lawmakers of the financial issues in the nations capitol.
Keeping the states budget balanced is law in South Dakota. But, with the country sitting in a $16-trillion hole.
Some politicians in Pierre are keeping a close eye on the federal government.
“I wish that the federal government was a little more able to determine what their course of action is going to be,” said Representative Jim Bolin from Canton.
“There are federal dollars that certainly impact the decisions that we make and that will certainly play a role,” added Representative Paula Hawks.
Representative Manny Steele hopes South Dakota will join with other states to take action and force the federal government to balance their budget.
“We do have a possibility. If we can get 34 states to agree with it, for the Article 5 of our constitution,” said Representative Manny Steele.
Article 5 says, states can amend the constitution with a two-thirds majority of all 50 state legislatures.
In the 2012 legislative session lawmakers waited until the last day to amend the governor's budget. One representative thinks with the federal situation this year it may take even longer to approve.
“The longer you delay, or you wait until the end of the session, the better estimates you get on revenue. And you get a better perspective on the resources you are going to have,” said Rep. Bolin.
While the country's situation closely effects how the budget is dealt with in Pierre, most will be waiting and watching lawmakers in Washington very closely in the next few months.