Senator Stan Adelstein (R-32/Rapid City) sits on the Senate Appropriations Committee. When he gets his hands on House Bill 1060, the bill adding millions of dollars to this year's state budget, expect a little ruckus.

Senator Adelstein has noticed the five million dollars slathered onto the Office of Economic Development to cover Governor Dennis Daugaard's promise of a subsidy to French cheese maker Bel Brands to build a new factory in Brookings. Rep. Sue Wismer (D-1/Britton) tried to get a similar bump for the Department of Education but was rebuffed by her House committee colleagues. Senator Adelstein appears willing to go further, arguing that the Governor's gift to Bel Brands via his economic development "Future Fund" should go instead to our schools:

I have an amendment to remove $5 million dollars from your bill and move it from the Future Fund allocation and move it to education. The fact is that the Future Fund ended the year with a balance of over $21 million dollars. The projection we were given in Appropriations, it would still have $10 million dollars next year and then it would have in $9 million dollars in the following year. The Future Fund is a discretionary fund for the governor, and while we support economic development I think the specifics of the economic development should be in the legislative actions and not in other actions.

…$5 million dollars was committed based on an expected revenue source that didn’t materialize because the people voted against that bill….the source for that $5 million dollars was a ten-percent cut in education [Senator Stanford Adelstein, blog post, 2013.02.20].

It's good to hear at least one Republican capable of talking fiscal priorities. The Governor has all the money he needs to favor his new French friends with corporate welfare. That five million dollars should go back to the schools as a down payment on the tens of millions of dollars Governor Daugaard has taken from their budgets.