Governor Dennis Daugaard and First Lady Linda Daugaard visited Milbank on June 11. The governor was in town to declare Milbank Capital for the Day.
Following the proclamation, he remained to deliver a State of the State Address. In his remarks, the governor was bullish on South Dakota’s economic outlook. He cited the fact South Dakota is among the top five states in the nation for low unemployment coupled with a low cost of living. “Jobs lost during the recession,” he explained, “were regained and 10,000-15,000 more were added, taking into account seasonality.” The governor also included South Dakota’s budget as a barometer of its economic health, stating, “we are just about at the end of our fiscal year and I expect we will finish with a surplus for the fourth year in a row.”
Daugaard went on to tout the state’s credit rating. “Just last month the S&P upgraded South Dakota to a AAA status.” This he said is a boon to taxpayers as it reduces interest payments. “For example,” he said, “when SDSU borrows money to build a dormitory we all save more.” He also commended South Dakota for refusing to rack up long term liability. “We’re not one to take on lots of debt,” he said.
The governor concluded by pointing out the importance of the Capital For a Day program which began during Governor Mickelson’s term. He extolled the opportunities it gives him to hear from local people and local officials about their communities and noted, “it brings me right down to the ground level, so I don’t get too highfalutin in Pierre and too removed.”