KELO reminds us that once again, highway funding will once again be a topic of great discussion in Pierre this legislative session. Legislators are proposing increases in gas taxes and licensing fees to help find the desperately needed funds to ensure our roads are up to par.
According to the South Dakota GOP platform, Government’s responsibility and priorities should first be directed toward projects and endeavors that individuals and private organizations cannot accomplish on their own. Highways and public infrastructure would fall under the category of things that must be provided by government, yet we struggle every year to find funding for these needs?
We need to refocus our budget concerns toward providing first for the “needs” of the state, after which we then move on to providing for the “wants” of the state; activities which are not essential functions of government, but can be provided once critical functions are carried out.
Senate Bill 183 from last year was a step in the right direction. Hopefully the legislature will take a hard look at this one again.