Legislature Directs $130 million to Healthcare Providers During Special Session

The South Dakota Legislature passed two bills during the October 5, 2020 special session authorizing expenditures related to the Coronavirus Relief Fund. The bills have been delivered to Governor Noem who is expected to sign both bills.

House Bill 1001 revises the General Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2021 to grant authority to the Bureau of Finance and Management to expend approximately $1.4 billion in federal Coronavirus Relief Funds distributed to South Dakota under the CARES Act. House Bill 1001 passed with a 66-4 vote in the House and a 31-2 vote in the Senate.

Senate Concurrent Resolution 601 directs spending of the $1.4 billion Coronavirus Relief Funds passed in House Bill 1001. The bill establishes $115 million in application based funding for community-based health care providers which include nursing homes, assisted livings, residential treatment facilities, home health agencies, behavioral health and substance use disorder providers, community support providers and other home and community based services providers. Funding distributed through the community-based health care provider grants will be based on a reduction in business as calculated using 2020 net revenue from March – September minus 2019 net revenue from March – September plus any federal coronavirus aid received. The proposed application period for the grant is October 12 through October 23, 2020. An addition $15 million is allocated for acute care hospitals. The resolution does not specify a distribution method for acute care hospitals; funding is anticipated to be distributed automatically using a formula.  The resolution additionally sets aside funds for a small business grant program including non-profits and start-ups, adult and private education, tourism marketing, and housing assistance. Several amendments to the resolution were proposed related to rapid point of care COVID testing, education funding for American Indian schools, and small business grants specific to rodeo and livestock contractors; no amendments to the resolution were passed. Senate Concurrent Resolution 601 passed with a 25-7 vote in the Senate and a 57-3 vote in the House.