Two bills impact information flow in the budget process

Added February 8th, 2012 by

Can the Legislature improve information flow in the current budget process?

Two bills have been introduced that have the potential to impact information flow in the South Dakota state budget process. 

The first (HB1133) creates a formal mechanism for the legislature to research and conduct long term planning on a bipartisan basis.

The second (SB151) requires a minimum 24 hour time lapse between passage of the final amended appropriations bill and floor voting on the budget.

HB 1133:   An act to establish the Legislature’s Planning Committee.  This bill has passed the House State Affairs 2-6-12.

Analysis:  The bi-partisan committee’s charge under this bill is to make a continuing study of emerging trends, assets, and challenges in South Dakota and to address the long-term implications of the decisions made by the Legislature.  Such a planning mechanism creates the opportunity for multi-year bi-partisan legislative study and planning.   It also allows an opportunity public input and public access to the findings of the committee. Excerpt from bill language: 

“collect and analyze data and give special consideration to matters concerning demographics, education, labor, revenue, natural resources, assets, challenges, trends, and the growth and efficiency of government in South Dakota. The committee shall continuously identify long-term issues significant to South Dakota, set goals, and issue a yearly report of its findings. The committee shall draw upon public input from all those who may be concerned and knowledgeable in these areas. The committee may propose draft legislation and policy recommendations to the Legislature to effectuate its mission.”

SB 151:  An act to provide a time period before certain action on the general appropriation bill may commence.  Scheduled for hearing in Senate Appropriations Wednesday, Feb 8, 2012 15 minutes after final Senate adjourns.

Analysis:  The delay created by this bill would allow time for the public and legislators to read and discuss the final amended version of the appropriations bill before voting.  Excerpt from bill language:

“No action may be taken on the floor of the House of Representatives or the Senate relating to the second reading of the general appropriation bill unless twenty-four hours have elapsed since the committee engrossed version of the bill was made available to the members of those bodies.”

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