2021 S.D. Legislature: SD Legislature has ‘work cut out for them’ in 2022 session

By: 
Rep. Steve Haugaard, District 10

The Legislative Session has begun. Our Joint Committee on Appropriations has met several times throughout the interim. Our Appropriations process for the Session got a headstart over the past weeks and met on Monday prior to the start of the regular Session.

Monday, we went through the budget overview of the Department of Social Services. As I’ve previously mentioned, our state budget is approximately $5 billion. Approximately 40 percent is paid from revenue the state acquires and 60 percent is from federal dollars. The Department of Social Services is a conduit for a large amount of the federal money flowing into the state. Presently, nearly 130,000 South Dakotans are using the state/federal medical services. The number who choose NOT to participate is unknown.  

As a result of the “health emergency”, the Division of Medical Services is currently operating under a “continuous medical coverage requirement”. That means under federal Titles XIX and XXI the number of individuals currently using those services increased from 116,000 in 2019 up to 138,000 people in 2020 and 2021. Enrollment in these programs across the nation has experienced an increase of 16-20 percent. Sadly, federal and state policies, in the midst of the pandemic, have resulted in making many more Americans and other individuals living in the United States increasingly dependent upon state and federal support. Reading through just a sampling of the rules and regulations demonstrate a significant increase in the federal role in healthcare as well as an increasing effort required of the state to comply with the receipt of those federal dollars.

As we go through the rest of the budget, we will hear from each of the agencies as to their specific spending requests. Unfortunately, we do not always hear about the actual needs but instead we hear what they are requesting following their collaboration with the Governor’s staff. That is what affects a more comprehensive Legislative oversight of the necessary budget needs. As a result of these budget implications, the policies of the agencies are shaped in a direction that sometimes has a negative result in the long-term effective delivery of services.  

So, you can see that there is much work to be done to rein in government growth and government spending.  There is also much work to be done to restrain the influence of special interest groups who are feeding upon these extraordinary federal dollars and state provided services.

The state agencies providing individual assistance do have information as to other outside sources, but, as is reflected in the annually increasing enrollment numbers, the typical trend is to find ways in which services can be provided to even more individuals. 

We have our work cut out for us in assisting people who are truly in need without creating new dependents.  

Your representatives look forward to hearing from you about any concerns you might have. You can also go to www.sdlegislature.gov to listen in on the meetings or to see what else is happening in state government.

Category:

The Brandon Valley Journal

 

The Brandon Valley Journal
1404 E. Cedar St.
Brandon, SD 57005
(605) 582-9999

Email Us

Facebook

Please Login for Premium Content