Yankton held their first legislative forum Saturday

YANKTON, S.D.(WNAX)- The Appropriations Committee of the South Dakota legislature is working through budget requests of state departments and agencies.

Committee Chair, Senator Jean Hunhoff of Yankton says they are splitting into separate groups.

Hunhoff says health care providers are telling them of critical funding shortages.

In the past, legislators have given the same increase in funding to state employees, schools and health care providers. Hunhoff says there is some talk of different increases for different groups.

South Dakota legislators have been hearing again about a shortage of teachers across the state.  District 18 Representative Mike Stevens of Yankton says there are shortages in most professions. 

Stevens says legislators will continue to look for ways to help. 

Stevens says the shortage will never be totally eliminated. 

The bill authorizing spending two hundred million dollars in housing infrastructure funding will be back in front of the South Dakota House this week.  The bill, which sailed through the Senate, was hung up last week in debate and amendments. 

District 18 Representative Julie Auch of Lesterville is opposed to the bill as it is now written.

Auch says the money won’t go where it is needed the most. 

Auch says the private sector is taking care of most of the housing needs. 

Most of the money is designated for infrastructure work needed for housing developments.

Hunhoff, Auch, & Stevens appeared at the first legislative forum of the session on Saturday in Yankton. 

Aberdeen will host our first cracker barrel this Saturday at NSU.