South Dakota increases funding for maintenance of state buildings

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July 30, 2013

South Dakota

By Jennifer Springer

PIERRE, South Dakota: South Dakota is increasing funding for maintenance of state buildings, but not all legislators agree with the move.[1]

Lawmakers dedicated $4.7 million toward state building maintenance in 2013, an increase from previous annual budgets.[1] The additional money is welcome because of a nearly $50 million repair and maintenance backlog.[1]

"It's always been kind of a struggle to get those dollars for maintenance and repair," said Bureau of Administration Commissioner Paul Kinsman, who oversees the maintenance of state buildings. "As a general rule, I think it's been underfunded."[1][2]

The industry standard is to spend 2 percent of the total value of all buildings on maintenance and repair. South Dakota typically has spent less than half that.[1][3]

Gov. Dennis Daugaard has pushed to increase maintenance and repair spending to the 2 percent figure, or approximately $11.5 million annually, and the Legislature has committed to gradually reaching that figure.[1][2]

Some lawmakers say there are higher priorities for any extra money the state has. "I do value maintenance and repair, and I do think it's important," said Sen. Billie Sutton, a member of the Appropriations Committee. "But we need to fund education and health care. Not to sound too clichéd, we're not taking care of our 'maintenance and repair' with education and health care."[1]

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