Interim Rules and Joint Appropriations met during the last two weeks. We had the shortest rules meeting as only four packets of rules were presented. The South Dakota Board of Dentistry presented rules to allow for manikin based clinical competency for dental hygienists. This came are a result of the COVID pandemic as the dental hygienist program was not able to use patients for the practicum testing for hygienist licensure. Without this rule change new graduates would not be able to be licensed in South Dakota. Nationwide manikins are used for the clinical competency testing and so South Dakota joins with those states. The rules also updated the radiography administrative rules, training programs and registration requirements. There was no opposition to the proposed rules the process was approved as complete.
Another first for South Dakota is that the South Dakota Board of Barber Examiners amended rules to update and establish various rules regarding barber schools including initial approval of barber schools, school equipment requirements and inspection of schools. South Dakota does not have a licensed Barber College and now the need has presented itself and the School will be opened in Rapid City. The rules clarified requirements for annual renewal of school licenses; update educational material requirements regarding textbooks and student tool kits; allow for distance learning, set maximum number of hours a licensed cosmetologist, nail technician, or esthetician may be granted Credit for related hours and curriculum when seeking to attend barber school to become licensed as a barber; allow credit for hours from other institutions for individuals seeking barber education; update instructor requirements for initial licensure; establish instructor requirements and responsibilities and set requirements for student barber practice . There was no opposition the process was approved as complete.
The South Dakota Cosmetology Commission amended rules to remove reference to the date fee increases become effective; remove the requirement to provide proof of high school graduation for licensure; revise the number of hours reciprocity applicants can earn through work experience, remove the requirement to have all foreign documentation evaluated by a professional evaluation organization, revise the number of hours foreign-educated applicants must complete in a commission-approved school, remove the requirement for reciprocity applicants to take a hand-on- practical examination, establish a rule to allow acceptance of related coursework completed at an institution not teaching the practices of cosmetology, nail technology, or esthetics. There was no opposition the rule process was approved.
Finally, DOT proposed rules amending to lengthen the 45MPH speed limit zone on State Trunk Highway 44 in Parkston due to the location of an intersection close to a school. They proposed to reduce speed limits to 15MPH on state highways that run by schools outside of city limits. The speed reduction would be in the school speed zone. This was brought to the Commission by school districts adjacent to state highways as a measure for school traffic safety for students and buses. There was no opposition the process was complete.
Joint Appropriations met on July 22nd. The Bureau of Human Resources presented an update on the Employee Health Plan for FY20 expenses. During the 2020 Budget session the Bureau had shown a deficit and had asked the Committee for additional dollars in FY20 and FY21. The expenses at year end are now 5.7% lower than expected. This equates to a little over nine million dollars. The expected claims trend is down 6.1%. We continue to see high cost claims set spending pace. Forty-three claimants drove $17.8 million in spend change. The largest number of claimants by category are 14 for nervous system and sense organ diseases and 11 claimants are due to circulatory diseases. Only 6 claimants are for prenatal condition, but they account for just under $10 million of the $17.8 million of spend change from FY18 to FY20.
A report was provided from the GOED on the small business relief fund loan program. Two hundred loans were approval for 52 cities totaling 10.5M. I had asked for staff to breakout the loans by a geographic region. They used the planning districts. In District 3 which includes Yankton County a total of 8 loans were received. Yankton businesses were hotels, bed and breakfast and a resort. These loans came with no interest rate and no fees. Maximum term was 60 months.
BFM reported on the year end general fund figures. Actual revenue generated was $7.9 million less than the original adopted budget. Then due to the reversions (dollars budgeted but not spent) the state had a surplus of $19 million that went to the budget reserve. Sales and use tax provided 62% of the general fund revenue with lottery and contractor’s excise tax providing 7% each. The remaining revenue sources ranged from 1% to 5% . Recent growth rates since April are trending downward but decreasing in smaller percentages. The largest reversion came from the Department of Health. Due to COVID many of the department’s expenses could be covered by federal dollars for COVID activities. BFM explained the rationale for the reversions that occurred. The virus slowed citizen utilization of state funded programs as people were staying home. BFM and LRC presented their interim 2021 revenue projections. BFM revised their revenue projection to $1,702,966,646 which is $39,609,429 or 2.27% lower than what the legislature adopted FY2021 estimate. Their estimates include decrease of 3.02% of sales and use tax, 1.74% decrease of lottery, 9.64% decrease in contractors excise tax, 2.26% decrease for licenses, permits, and fees. LRC is projecting $1,7265B which is a decrease of $15.9 million or 0.92% from adopted. LRC is estimating 2.4% decrease in sales and use tax, lottery an increase of .74%, 1.8% decrease in contractor’s excise tax, 3.24% decrease in licenses, permits, and fees. The difference between BFM and LRC numbers is the analysis that each uses for their projections. BFM is more focused on measures of economic activity whereas BFM uses specific formulas based on historical data. This meeting was 2 weeks into the new fiscal year so waiting for a clearer crystal ball reading before making any changes. Currently no further action is needed from the Committee as the projected decreases are not triggering any further action. The efforts to stabilize and restart our economy is what is needed.
The last item was a letter of intent for Community Support Providers. An example of the community support provider in our community is ABS. Their association advocated during session the potential risk of agencies cutting back or closing because of staff vacancies. They are the prime supporters for our adult developmentally delayed (DD) population. Session ended with $1 million general fund dollars with a federal match of 1.2M going to assist the providers with dollars to provide bonuses to employees to retain in their operations. A subgroup of which I was a member met over June and July to develop a plan to distribute the dollars to the agencies. Along the way two groups were added to the list of participating members. The ICF which is the Intermediate Care Facility for the DD population that services children and adults and a for profit group in Pierre that took over a facility that had closed in Pierre were included. In conclusion the methodology selected was to divide the total dollars available by the total number of FTEs in the mix and determine the average dollar amount per FTE based on those totals. The participating agencies will get a dollar amount based on their total FTEs times the average amount. The facility will decide how to allocate the dollars. The dollars can only go to direct care givers not administration and the eligible employees will have at least 6 months of service. Agencies will be required to report back on the allocation process to the Jt Committee. Last year we addressed nursing homes with a 10% increase in Medicaid rates. This year we focused on the Developmentally Delayed population to assist providers to sustain their operations in our communities to serve our DD population.