Billion/Rounds disagree on robbing the State Piggy Bank

The Rounds/Billion Campaign fight continues today, with State Senator Jerry Apa stepping in as referee in the Rapid City Journal:
Billion proposed his plan for a "drought property-tax assistance fund," after attending a town hall meeting on the drought Monday in Highmore. Billion said he would propose legislation to set up the fund with money that exists in state government, the state emergency reserve fund and/or a special one-time appropriation.


But the governor said he has done much more than encourage prayer. Rounds sought a federal disaster declaration for drought-punished counties that allows farmers and ranchers to hay or graze some of their Conservation Reserve Program acres and certain wetland acres.

The state also waived permit fees for hauling baled livestock feed, expanded the hours for over-width loads on highways and the interstate system and opened road ditches for mowing earlier than usual, he said.


"You could be talking as much as hundreds of millions of dollars," he said. "The resources simply do not exist within the state government today."


State Sen. Jerry Apa, R-Lead, chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, said Tuesday that dipping into reserve funds and singling out farmers and ranchers for direct assistance doesn't make sense.

"You can draw on that piggy bank. But eventually, it will be empty," he said. "Then, what do you do with an empty piggy bank when you have to fund the programs that came out of that piggy bank?"
Read it all here.


scimitar said…
Rounds and Apa have no problem drawing from that piggy bank for any number of other things. Their line for the past 3 1/2 years is that we have a structural deficit that requires us to dip into the piggy bank every year to balance the budget.

Funny thing is, that piggy bank keeps growing.

The only conclusion that can be drawn is that Rounds and Apa will tap our growing piggy bank for other things but not to help farmers/ranchers.

Billion is serious about doing everything in state government's power to help with a serious problem.

Rounds again wants to guard his huge pile of gold and "cut and run" on farmers/ranchers.
mike said…
Boy, scimitar is one dull blade.

Finance 101 for the dull one.

The piggy bank keeps growing because only a portion of the INTEREST is spent.

Spend-the-Jack Billion wants to blow the PRINCIPAL. Once gone, no more interest and no principal.

A foolish way to buy votes.
scimitar said…
Thank you, governor, for making my point.

You agree that Rounds is protecting and building his pile of gold, but he won't help farmers/ranchers.

This, even though we have larger reserves per capita than any other state. If we can't use some of the money in an emergency, what good is it to hoard the money?
Anonymous said…
As a Republican and a rancher, I believe in limited government and don't want anyone from the government trying to take care of me. I'll do that on my own, thank you very much, and you guys take care of your own problems. Leave the taxpayers out of this.
scimitar said…
Anonymous Rancher, you don't want anything, so nobody else should receive help either?

If you believe in limited government, then you certainly believe that government has stockpiled too much money and should retrun some to the taxpayers. Right?
Anonymous said…
Anonymous Rancher,
Do you plan on taking any of that CRP hay or grazing discount the FSA offices are offering? What about cost share on shelterbelts and or alfalfa seeding? Stockdams dug with cost share? LDP? There are alot of different ways the gov sends subsidies, if you get along without any of them, more power to you.
Anonymous said…
Scimitar is an idiot.

Billion is just trying to say income tax without saying income tax.
Anonymous said…
Billion say he doesn't want an income tax, but he wants to SD to "educate itself" about our tax system, then decide if we want to change anything.

How many times has he spent our reserve fund already? $100m K-12 lawsuit, medicaid, drought relief. And it's only July! Imagine how many more half-baked spending proposals he will propose by November!

Q: Jack, how can the state pay for all your new proposals?
A: The good news is, we already have the money. The bad news - it's still in your pocketbook!

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