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Wednesday, January 20, 2010

SB 65: No New License Plates!

A million here, a million there... pretty soon, you've balanced the budget!

Governor Rounds has proposed what looks like a reasonable idea for saving a million bucks. In State Senate Bill 65, he has requested that we skip redesigning our license plates this year and stick with our current plates for another five-year cycle. Skipping the redesign frees up $1,000,000, which the Governor wants to transfer to the prison industries revolving fund.

The only people who might be disappointed by this budget move are license-plate collectors... and while I'm no aficionado, even they might not be so bummed. These flat plastic plates just don't seem as kitschy-cool as good old raised-character metal plates.

But hey: if Governor Rounds can find a million-dollar savings that hurts no one, where else in the budget might we find some savings by making do with what we have?

Update 2010.01.21 11:06 CST: SD-DMV director Deb Hillmer tells Bob Mercer this measure will give counties more money for road and bridge work, since the state won't have to deduct money from license fees to pay for new plates. (Mercer also corrects a mistake on timeframe he wouldn't have made if he had read this post first! ;-) )


  1. Governor Rounds wants to expand State competition with private industry? Pheasantland Industries is 30-cents per hour prison labor and they do much more than license plates. They compete with every printing company, office supply store and contractor in the state. The State uses prison labor to print forms, brochures, and business cards for government offices and non-profits, which takes away from the private sector. They also build office furniture, desks and products for those same entities. Back in Janklow's reign, he wanted to force all state-funded offices and non-profits to purchase all their printing and office needs from prison industries, but it was battled by SDPI, SDRA and other groups. Prison Industries also builds Governor's Homes, which at least teaches prisoners a usable trade, but also unfairly competes with 30-cent per hour wages. This is a wolf in sheep's clothing, regurgitated to take advantage of our economic downturn and slip through the cracks.

  2. This is responsible saving of our tax dollars. Our tax dollars should not be going to unnecessary or overly expensive functions, like license plates, like printing government forms, like simple furnishings, etc. The long track record is that contracting out functions virtually never saves taxpayer money and is more expensive to the taxpayer. Taxpayers are not the printers or furniture makers or the marketeers meal ticket.
    John Kelley

  3. Two words: Permanant Plates

    Jason Bjorklund


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