The budget recommended last week by the governor calls for work force expansions that total the full-time equivalent of 107.7 positions throughout state government, including the court system and the state universities.
If all of those recommendations — and only those — were adopted by the Legislature during its 2013 session, state government in total would have 13,810 FTEs in the fiscal 2014 budget that starts July 1 and runs through June 30.
For comparison, state government actually used 13,200.5 FTEs in the fiscal 2011 year and 12,951.9 FTEs in the fiscal 2012 year that ended June 30. The Legislature last winter budgeted 13,702.3 FTEs for the current fiscal 2013 year.
Each year, different priorities are proposed by the governor, but the ultimate decision is up to the Legislature in the budget that it passes.
Gov. Dennis Daugaard's priorities in his latest budget proposal can be grouped into physics, economic development, corrections and courts.
The governor recommends 20 FTEs for a new doctorate-level physics program. It would be run by South Dakota School of Mines and Technology at Rapid City and the University of South Dakota at Vermillion.
He also proposes adding 21 FTEs for the South Dakota Science and Technology Authority, state government’s manager for the Sanford lab.
The state Board of Regents, whose members govern the state universities and special schools, would see eight FTEs added for the Agricultural Experiment Station operated by South Dakota State University in Brookings and another eight FTEs for faculty at Black Hills State University in Spearfish.
The regents also would get one FTE for a janitor at the School for the Deaf campus in Sioux Falls to replace the contract service that’s been used.
One emphasis during the past year by Daugaard has been to find ways to slow the rate of cost increases for operating the state courts and prison system. Some of the additional recommended FTEs are a result of that work.
The Unified Judicial System is recommended for 9.5 new FTEs for court services officers, specialists in drug and DUI courts, a magistrate judge, other court officers and a senior programmer analyst to assist in the records system.
The Department of Corrections is in line for 14.5 FTEs to bring its total work force to 871.2.
A unit case manager and a sergeant would be added at the Rapid City minimum security unit. The state penitentiary in Sioux Falls would add a coordinator to specialize in elimination of prison rape and 3.5 FTEs for additional security in the kitchen and healthcare operations. Parole services would get one FTE for a corrections analyst, three FTEs for additional parole officers and one FTE for a corrections specialist.
Juvenile community corrections would receive three additional FTEs.
Of the eight new FTEs recommended for the Department of Health, six would work as part of the prison system in infirmary services and technology in hopes of reducing emergency-room use and hospital visits.
The other two health FTEs would be for the Board of Nursing and the Board of Pharmacy.
The office of attorney general would decrease by one-half an FTE. The office would add an attorney to defend state government against prisoner lawsuits and would add a consumer fraud investigator. An additional Division of Criminal Investigation would be hired to work drugs in the Black Hills.
A variety of staffing increases and decreases within the Department of Human Services would mean seven fewer FTEs. Proposed additions include a communications officer and two FTEs for the new Office of Community Living within the Division of Developmental Disabilities.
Meanwhile 10 FTEs would be eliminated from the South Dakota Developmental Center at Redfield as a unit closes.
The Department of Social Services would receive two new FTEs.
The wild-land fire suppression office in the Department of Agriculture would add 1.3 FTEs.
Other recommended increases include: state investment office, two FTEs; Bureau of Human Resources, one FTE; Army National Guard, two FTEs; Bureau of Information and Telecommunications, two FTEs; South Dakota Lottery, one FTE; Department of Veterans Affairs, one-half FTE; South Dakota Retirement System, one FTE; Highway Patrol, three FTEs; Emergency Services, one FTE; driver licensing, five FTEs; Department of Legislative Audit, two FTEs; Ellsworth Development Authority, 2.5 FTEs; Office of Research Commerce, two FTEs.
Thirteen departments, offices and agencies wouldn’t see any change in FTEs.