PUC Briefing/Governor Daugaard’s Budget Address

It was a busy day in Pierre today with the anticipation of the Gov. Daugaard’s budget address. To touch on a few of the key issues that I find concerning for all of us is the looming debt crisis that our nation is facing. With the chance of sequester we would be looking at a $29 million loss in revenue to our state. Also, our Medicaid formula for adults is going to change mostly because of more revenue generated from agriculture. From 2008-20011 the state only paid 40% of the cost while the Feds made up 60%. This was due to the recession that we were in. In 2012 our state had record growth and an unemployment rate of 4.5% compared to 7.9% nationwide. The average income in 2012 for South Dakotans was $44,000 versus $41,000 nationally. Because of the formula by 2016 we will be at a 50 – 50 share with the federal government. The state saw gains in enrollments 2008-2011 and now it seems to be leveling off with 116,000 adults enrolled in Medicaid.
I also attended the PUC briefing on issues facing our state regarding EPA regulations and the impact it is having on the price of our electricity. I for one will encourage push back from the state level on any further regulations that will cost South Dakotans higher electricity bills. The United States of America has the most clean air in the world and more regulations will only bring hardships to the very poor.
On a brighter note the Capitol is beautiful with all the Christmas trees from organizations all across the state. I found the Haakon County 4-H Leaders and Milesville 4-H Club. When I go back on the 16th I plan on looking for more local trees. I will try to take pictures so I can share them with you. As always feel free to contact me with any questions you might have. I will be meeting with the Bennett Co. Commissioners on the 19th of Dec., Jackson Co Commissioners on the 16th and this Thursday I will attend the electric coop mtg. in Rapid City.