Governor Dennis Daugaard�s budget is an ominous sign that the Tea Party has infiltrated state government in Pierre, according to Democratic State Party Chairman Ben Nesselhuf.
�The governor has apparently taken the helm of political extremism in South Dakota,� said Nesselhuf �Two months ago he refused to acknowledge there was a budget crisis. Now he says the crisis is so severe that we must solve it immediately by jeopardizing our children�s future and passing the buck to local governments and taxpayers back home.�
Nesselhuf said the governor�s budget address was less than honest.
�He lists $30 million in cuts to health care for the poor and disabled citizens � but those $30 million are general funds that are matched by federal funds. The total loss will be $70 million. That�s a huge blow to South Dakota and will surely slow our recovery from the recession.�
The Democratic leader said South Dakotans are a moderate people who believe in good schools and in helping children and seniors who need health care. �The governor�s budget ignores those values.�
Nesselhuf is also concerned that the budget proposal will hurt economic development efforts in South Dakota. �If this passes in the legislature, what signal does it send to employers and young working families in South Dakota? The message will be that state government is run by the Tea Party, and it doesn�t believe in public education and health care. Those two areas are the most important components of our quality of life.
�The Tea Party has obviously recruited Dennis Daugaard to their ranks,� he said. �This is disastrous to our future.�