South Dakota Legislators Approve Increase in Their Expense Accounts
The South Dakota Legislature is not raising their salaries, BUT they are raising the daily allowance they receive. The allowance is to pay for lodging, food, and miscellaneous expenses while they are in session at the State Capitol.
The current $110 a day has been in effect since 2000. The new amount will be $123. A minor amendment made in the Senate sends the bill back to the House for approval. For a 37 day session, such as this year, the increase amounts to: $481, for a total of $4551.
The salary of a legislator is $6000 annually. The salary plus expenses totals slightly over $10,500.
I don't begrudge our legislators increasing the daily allowance, since it has not been raised in over a decade. I hope they use the extra money for better mattresses so they can get sleep better, and also to eat healthier. In theory, better rested and better nourished lawmakers should be making better decisions.