Senators shelve constitutional amendment on lawmakers’ pay

February 26, 2018

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) — A South Dakota Senate panel has shelved a measure that would have asked voters to give legislators a significant pay raise and tied their salaries to the state’s median household income.

The Senate State Affairs Committee voted unanimously Monday to table the resolution. It would have gone to November voters.

But senators will instead debate the proposal in bill form, which would require Gov. Dennis Daugaard’s signature.

Assistant Senate Majority Leader Ryan Maher says it’s not the responsibility of voters to raise lawmakers’ salaries.

The bill would set legislators’ salaries at one-fifth of the South Dakota median household 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.

State lawmakers are currently paid $6,000 per session plus a per diem allowance.

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