PIERRE, S.D.(DRGNews)- The State of South Dakota ended the 2021 fiscal year (June 30, 2021) with nearly $302 million ($301.8 million) in its budget reserve– over $100 million more than at the end of the previous fiscal year.
The State ended the 2020 fiscal year with total reserve of $193.4 million. It ended the 2019 fiscal year with a total reserve of $189.1 million and ended the 2018 fiscal year with a total of $176.4 million in reserve funds.
District 24 senator Mary Duvall says state law requires a specified percentage of the general fund must be in the reserve fund.
State employees received a 2.4% pay increase this year, but that increase was offset by an increase in the cost of their health insurance premiums. Duvall says appropriators had to put together the fiscal year 2022 budget with the information they had back in March.
Federal COVID relief dollars are likely part of the large increase in reserves and Duvall says legislators will find out more when the Appropriations Committee meets Wednesday morning at 9am.
By law, any fiscal year budget surplus the State has must be transferred to the State’s budget reserves. In 2021, a surplus of $85.9 million was transferred to the state’s budget reserves, increasing the total to the current $301.8 million (16.6% of the fiscal year 2022 general fund budget).
In 2020, a surplus of $19.1 million was transferred to the budget reserve fund for a total reserve of $193.4 million. In fiscal year 2019, a surplus of $19.4 million was transferred giving the State a total reserve of $189.1 million. In 2018, a surplus of $16.9 million was put into the budget reserve giving the State a total of $176.4 million in reserves (11.1 percent of the total general fund budget).