Budget Potpourri: South Dakota Govt Grows More Slowly, Saves More, Boosts K-12 Less…

Governing‘s number cruncher Mike Maciag directs my attention (and, I hope, yours) to the National Association of State Budget Officers’ new Spring 2015 Fiscal Survey of the States. Numbers of note therein:

  1. South Dakota’s rainy-day funds increased this fiscal year from $139 million to $149 million.
  2. Our accumulated rainy-day funds are 10.7% of our FY2015 expenditures.
  3. Nationally, the average state budget reserve as percentage of current fiscal year expenditures is 5.2%.
  4. For FY2016, South Dakota plans to spend 2.5% more on general fund expenditures than in FY2015, during which our general fund expenditures have actually declined 3.1%.
  5. Nationally, states are spending 3.1% more in FY2016, following a 4.6% increase in FY2015.
  6. K-12 education gets 26.9% of our increased spending in FY2016. Higher ed gets 16%.
  7. Nationally, states are giving 34.4% of their increased spending to K-12 education. Higher ed gets 8.6%.
  8. On Medicaid in FY2016, South Dakota will spend 6.1% more in state funds but 1.0% less in federal funds. We have budgeted for a 0.8% increase in Medicaid enrollment.
  9. In all states together, state spending on Medicaid will climb 3.1% while federal spending will increase 6.9%. States anticipate a 4.6% increase in Medicaid enrollment.
  10. The $41.3 million we expect to get from our emergency gas tax increase comprises 70.4% of the increases nationwide in state motor fuel taxes. New Hampshire will collect another $16.4 million; New York will get an additional $1.0 million.
  11. South Dakota budgeted for a 3.9% increase in sales tax revenues in FY2016. All states together are banking on 4.6% more sales tax in FY2016.

4 Responses to Budget Potpourri: South Dakota Govt Grows More Slowly, Saves More, Boosts K-12 Less…

  1. When we are so far behind on teacher salaries and school funding, why are we growing our reserves. Some schools in our state have huge reserves for general fund and will not raise teacher salaries.

  2. Greg, I sense some vicious cycle there. The state can’t be relied upon to maintain funding, and opt-outs are hard to pass, so the schools bank bigger reserves in case of sudden expenses. The Governor will direct the Blue Ribbon panel to roast locals for their big reserves, but the numbers above show that state government is keeping reserves more than twice the national average for state governments.

  3. It is a vicious cycle. The schools get more money and don’t give it to teachers. They sock it away, so the state doesn’t trust the schools to give money to teachers. So they sock it away. The teachers, good or otherwise, don’t get more money, so they whine. The legislatures see this and can’t smell the forest for the trees. And the fatcat administrators get fatter and fatter and sock more and more money away.

    Possible solution: make the teachers employees of the state Education Department and then they get raises like the legislatures get. And cut the fatcat administrators out of the loop entirely.


  4. Interesting idea, Grudz. not sure we can eliminate administrators all together and I’m thinking that what your proposing goes against what most Republicans pretend is so important, local control.