South Dakota State Budget Timeline1

June/July Budget guidelines sent to agencies
September Agency requests submitted to Governor
September/October Agency requests reviewed by budget office
1st Tuesday following 1st Monday in December                Governor submits Budget Address to Legislature     
During legislative session (beginning in January) Agency hearings held by Legislature
Before end of legislative session Legislature adopts budget
July 1, following legislative session Budget year begins


By state law, the governor is required to submit a budget report to the Legislature each year in early December.  It outlines proposed “financial plans and appropriations”  to cover the cost of state government services in the upcoming fiscal year.   South Dakota’s fiscal year runs from July 1 through June 30 and is referred to by the year in which it ends (e.g. FY12 runs from July 1, 2011 to June 30, 2012).
In an election year, if there is a change in administration, the governor-elect has until the 10th day of the legislative session to review the outgoing governor’s budget and suggest changes.
The governor’s financial plan is submitted to the Legislature in the General Appropriations Bill, which “authorizes the expenditure of money from public funds for the ordinary current and capital expenditures of the executive, legislative and judicial departments of the state.”  

During the legislative session, which begins the second Tuesday in January, the general appropriations bill is reviewed and amended by the Joint Appropriations Committee of the Legislature.  Then both the House and the Senate vote on the bill, which requires only a simple majority to pass.  

The Legislature can also pass Special Appropriations Acts that authorize spending public funds for any purpose other than those allowed in the General Appropriations Act  (Examples: construction of new campus buildings, the cost of fighting an extensive Black Hills fire).  Special Appropriations Acts and Revenue Acts, which impose or increase taxes, require a two-thirds majority of both houses to pass.

The governor has the power to veto individual line items of any appropriations bill passed by the Legislature.   Gubernatorial vetoes require a two-thirds majority vote of both House and Senate to override. 

Together, the general appropriations act, special appropriations acts, and revenue acts make up the budget – the financial plan for the upcoming year.   The South Dakota Legislature must approve the budget by the end of the legislative session ― there is no provision in state law for a continuing resolution.   (A continuing resolution is a type of appropriations legislation used by the U.S. Congress to fund government agencies if a formal appropriations bill has not been signed into law.)

Individuals who want to influence fiscal policy must get involved before the appropriations bill is voted on by the House and Senate.  The Appropriations Committee begins hearing state agency proposals at the start of the legislative session and will listen to public testimony on agency recommendations, as well as on the various revenue or special appropriations bills.  

1National Association of State Budget Officers, Budget Process in the States, Summer 2008.

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