The state budget is the ultimate policy document. It determines how much is spent on programs and services that affect the lives of all South Dakotans. Our schools, health, safety and transportation – and the basic public systems that support them – are the foundation of South Dakota’s current and future prosperity. Investing wisely and adequately in these systems saves money and builds wealth in the long run.
This Budget Primer is a guide to understanding the components of the state budget, how it is created, and some of the priorities and choices it reflects. By understanding the complete fiscal picture we can make better decisions about our tax system and spending priorities.
Small changes in a budget or fiscal policy can have major impacts on the people in our state. These changes may not attract public attention, leaving most South Dakotans unaware of their effect. Broad-based and thoughtful citizen involvement helps ensure that South Dakota’s budget priorities reflect our values and that our budget decisions meet the needs of the state.