The hoghouse fun continues. Senate Bill 176 was supposed to fund the development of online educational resources. In its original form, the Department of Education would have received a half-million dollars to analyze and develop online textbooks aligned with our new Common Core standards.
But the Department of Education got skittish about creating the impression that they would be setting curriculum and would set in motion a program that would require ongoing funding. The House yesterday decided it would be better to spend $885,000 to help Secretary of State Shantel Krebs update the business services computer system. Evidently previous Secretary Jason Gant spilled so much maple syrup on the mainframe that it can’t process new business filings fast enough to comply with the law. SB 176 has thus been hoghoused into a spending bill for the Secretary of State.
But wait a minute: we’re down $10.4 million from what Governor Daugaard said we’d have last December. How do we have money to buy Secretary Krebs some new computers?
Ah, check this out: the hoghoused SB 176 loans $885K from the budget reserves to the Secretary of State’s office. Secretary Krebs will repay that loan, with interest, by 2019.
So for the next couple-three fiscal years, the SOS budget will include a line-item for pouring a few hundred thousand dollars back into the reserves. This procedure is apparently preferable to simply appropriating $885K from reserves or from existing revenues and calling it good.
Boy, Secretary Krebs, don’t forget to make that payment, or the state may send its obligation recovery center after you and take away your hunting license. (That debt collection proposal squeaked out of the Senate yesterday on an 18–17 vote.) And let us know what the interest rate is. Maybe some schools would like to take out a loan from the South Dakota Reserve Bank to cover their shortfalls.