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Tue Jan 8, 2019, 09:38 PM

South Dakota Legislators Enjoy 90% Raise

When the Legislature’s Executive Board drafted its plan to raise legislator pay and peg it to one fifth of median household income, we estimated that would raise their pay from $6,000 to $10,191 a year. 58 legislators who voted for that pay raise (see the final House and Senate roll calls on 2018 HB 1311) got a pleasant surprise last week: James Nord reports that, instead of $4,200, their bump will be just about $5,400:

State lawmakers will be paid $11,378.80 in 2019, a roughly 90 percent jump from the $6,000 per session they’ve received since 1998. Legislators also get a per diem allowance that’s increased during that time [James Nord, “South Dakota Lawmakers Getting First Pay Raise in 21 Years,” AP via Rapid City Journal, 2019.01.03].

That’s a great boost for Senate Pro-Tem Brock Greenfield, who says he’s been part=timing other jobs since he got out of college and took up legislating:

Senate President Pro Tempore Brock Greenfield, a Republican, said it was the first time he’s voted for a pay increase since joining the Legislature in 2001. Greenfield, 43, said he’s found jobs over the years that accommodate his legislative schedule since graduating from college in 1999.

Now, helping out with his family’s bar-restaurant and small grocery store and substitute teaching and bus driving, Greenfield said the raise is welcome.

“I’m still not going to be cutting a fat hog by any means over the course of a year, but it will certainly bolster my end of the year … tax returns,” Greenfield said. “If you told anybody that you’re going to get $5,000 more next year than you did last year, I mean, that’s wonderful” [Nord, 2019.01.03].

Read more: http://dakotafreepress.com/2019/01/07/south-dakota-legislators-enjoy-90-raise/

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