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Study: South Dakota last in budget planning

Though South Dakota state government prides itself on never running a deficit, one policy group says the state does a poor job in budgeting for the future.

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The Center for Budget and Policy Priorities released a report Tuesday that placed South Dakota last in factoring in long-term issues impacting state budgeting decisions.

The group examined what it said were 10 "common sense" budgeting tools. Some of the metrics include regularly estimating revenues and spending for the five years ahead, and tracking the cost of tax breaks.

The CBPP lauded South Dakota for having pension funding and debt level reviews and a legislative fiscal office. It said it needed to improve pension oversight and have a better-designed "rainy day" fund.

According to the report, South Dakota lacked several procedures, including multi-year forecasts of revenue and spending; fiscal notes with multi-year projections; current services baselines; independent consensus revenue forecasts; oversight of tax expenditures; and budget status reports.

Connecticut ranked first with 8.5 of the 10 possible tools while South Dakota had 3 of 10.

The group also noted there was no correlation on results based on whether a state was predominately Republican or Democrat.