Legislators discuss upcoming planning session

RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA TV)- The legislative planning session begins Tuesday, and legislators are getting ready to tackle the issues for 2018.

Republican Larry Rhoden (District 29) says the budget is one of the biggest issues looming over the state legislature.

Currently, the budget is proposed to be tight for the next two years due to low sales tax revenue, and Rhodin says the state is looking at 20 a million dollar shortfall, but he isn't worried.

"It doesn't concern me that much because 20 million isn't a huge amount of money and the Governor has already proposed a balanced budget, so we have the framework to work with as a legislature," said Rhoden. "We will deal with those through committee hearings and by the end of the day, we will have come up with a plan that suits legislature and the Governor."

Other legislators, like Democrat Shawn Bordeaux (District 26A) are looking to bring more community engagement to the table.

"They have a big elk heard on the Rosebud Reservation and the folks in Bennett County and the folks in Nebraska have been putting out a lot of corn to get our animals to go down and it creates an economy for them," said Bordeaux. "So I think if we were to put together a joint commission between Nebraska, South Dakota, and the tribes and include Pine Ridge to see if they can build collaborative efforts. We need to provide folks with tourism and AG opportunities to make South Dakota grow for everyone. "

The budget will be discussed at the legislative session, and if all goes well, it will be adopted before the end of the legislaitve session in March. The budget year begins on July 1.