Doug Sombke, president of the South Dakota Farmers Union, wonders why legislators don't consider more areas of spending when trying to balance the state budget, including:
Corrections. "South Dakota spends $100 million annual on corrections, while North Dakota spends $50 million," he writes in his March "Message From The President column in the South Dakota Farmers Union newspaper. "Our state charges individuals with felonies for violations flooding our prison that North Dakota and other states consider minor violations. South Dakota is locking up individuals while our state does not have a high violent crime rate and our nation's violent crime rate is 17% lower than it was in 1980."
Lieutenant governor's salary. It rose from $17,000 to $120,000 per year.. "It's a stunning increase and unjustifiable considering the current budget deficiet," Sombke writes.
Executive staff bonuses. Former Gov. Mike Rounds gave to his top 19 staffers $533,000 in bonuses in his last year if office "If it was good enough for Wall Street executives to give their bonuses back, why not these state executives?" he asks.