Week 3 of the South Dakota Legislature has wrapped up. As we in Appropriations continue to hear from agencies on how your tax dollars are spent, we managed to get a brief look into the future of South Dakota’s economy at the meeting Governor’s Economic Advisory Council. We heard from business leaders from across the state, economics professors, and a good amount of data from a couple of research firms. South Dakota’s agricultural economy still suffers from a horrible year of weather combined with low commodity prices. There are signs of hope if the weather will cooperate. USMCA has been signed, the US-Japan trade deal was incredible for US Agriculture, and China appears to have accepted the first part of a trade deal. Our tourism secretary reported that there is a lot of interest in South Dakota this summer with the 80th Sturgis Rally being planned, fireworks returning to Mount Rushmore, and an incredible report about how Southeast South Dakota, especially the Sioux Falls area is becoming a busy tourist destination. All that combined with incredibly low unemployment, a healthy manufacturing and banking sector, South Dakota’s economic outlook has grown from cautiously to mildly optimistic. It’s a very conservative group.
December sales tax receipts will be released this week. The Appropriations Committee will compile the data and use the information to begin discussions on selecting a revenue target so that we may have a number to balance against as we assemble our budget.
Also, our policy committees are up to speed and working diligently on a host of bills. My bill, SB54, the preemption bill for auxiliary containers passed the Senate 22-12 on Thursday and now moves to the House. There are a lot of controversial bills that generate news, but please check out the bill list at www.sdlegislature.gov and if you have any questions or concerns over any bill on the list, you may email me at email@example.com Thank you for the opportunity to serve you in the South Dakota Senate.