|December means the holidays, family..food and fun.. It also means that most legislators will have to begin the serious business of budget cutting.
South Dakota Governor Mike Rounds will deliver his budget address to the legislature on December 8th.
Most forecasts indicate there will be a hole between 80 and 150 million dollars to fill.
In the last session, there were anguished howls over a proposal to cut 3 million dollars from the Birth to 3 program.
It survived intact for the most part, but it doesn't look like lawmakers will be able to rely on federal stimulus dollars this time to bail them out.
Most of those dollars will have to be used to fill in the current state budget.
Those who say "cut state government" will most likely get their way. But what will the end result look like?
Most people go through their day not thinking about government at any level. But the taxes we pay end up getting our garbage picked up, our kids educated and our neighbors grandmother cared for at her nursing home.
We all have to tell our legislators what we want cut, and what we can't live without. In many cases they may ask three people and get four opinions.
If we truly want to live with in our means, then we have to pick and choose. Are highway projects more important than caring for the elderly, or can we wait and see if the economy will pick up and refill the states till?
We won't know for sure for several months, but there will be hard decisions for all of us.