The Latest: Panel backs plan to increase state lawmaker pay
PIERRE, S.D. (AP) — The Latest on a proposed constitutional amendment to raise legislator pay (all times local):
A legislative panel has endorsed a measure that would ask voters to give South Dakota lawmakers a pay raise.
The Legislature’s Executive Board voted Monday to advance a plan that would link legislator’s pay to the state’s median household income.
The proposal would ask voters to amend the state constitution to make the change, removing lawmakers’ ability to set their own pay.
State lawmakers are paid $6,000 per session plus a per diem allowance. The measure would set legislators’ salaries at one-fifth of the median income. U.S. Census numbers for 2015 show that would mean a raise of 70 percent for the state’s 105 lawmakers to nearly $10,200.
House Speaker Mark Mickelson, a supporter, says low salaries limit the pool of people who can serve as lawmakers to those who are retired or self-employed.
Some state lawmakers in South Dakota think it’s about time for a pay raise.
The South Dakota Executive Board is set to consider a resolution Monday that would link legislator’s pay to the state’s median household income. Supporters say lawmakers’ pay of $6,000 a year hasn’t increased in nearly 20 years, although their per diem payments have risen.
The Argus Leader reports the resolution would set legislators’ salaries at one-fifth of the median income. That would mean a raise of 70 percent for the state’s 105 lawmakers to about $10,190.
House Speaker Mark Mickelson says the low salary limits who is able to run for office. He says it’s either people who are retired or self-employed.