BURKE, S.D. – State Senator Billie Sutton, candidate for Governor and member of the Senate Appropriations committee, released the following statement in response to yesterday’s Budget Address by current South Dakota Governor Dennis Daugaard:
South Dakotans know the importance of living within our means and balancing our budget responsibly. As a state legislator and member of the appropriations committee, I know first hand how to cut unnecessary spending while also making the necessary investments that will grow our economy. We must live within our means, but unfortunately yesterday’s Budget Address lacked a plan or vision to improve the anemic economic condition in South Dakota.
Ag income and non-farm income are both struggling in South Dakota. Housing starts are falling behind, and unemployment has risen. In tough times, we must prioritize to make strategic investments that improve the economy. Strategic investments like our children's education, public/private partnerships for early childhood education, needs-based scholarship opportunities, job training programs for those looking to advance their careers, improving housing opportunities, increasing salaries and wages, and improving healthcare access will all positively impact the economy throughout the state.
We also need to ensure tax payer dollars are being spent wisely, not mismanaged or steered to political insiders for personal gain. With the corruption we have seen in state government, more must be done to ensure government funds are properly administered, accounted for, and transparent to the people.