Salaries of S.D. legislators set for 2021

Capitol News Bureau
KELO Pierre Capitol building legislature

PIERRE, S.D. (KELO) — South Dakota’s 105 legislators will be paid $12,580.80 apiece for the 2021 session, the state Board of Finance said Tuesday.

A South Dakota law passed in 2018 says lawmakers get one-fifth of the statewide household median income from the prior year.

Tamara Darnall, chief fiscal and program analyst for the Legislative Research Council., said it was the third time the request had been made.

Legislators received $11,378.80 apiece for the 2019 session and $11,892.40 for the 2020 session. Prior to the 2018 law taking effect for the 2019 session, a lawmaker received $6,000 per session.

The state board’s role Tuesday was to confirm the $64,255 household median.

Lawmakers also receive a daily expense allowance during the legislative session. The amount is tied to a federal calculation. The daily amount from October 1, 2019, through September 30, 2020, was $151, according to Darnall. She said the rate remained the same for the new 12-month period that began October 1.

The 2021 session opens January 12. The main run ends March 11. Lawmakers return Monday, March 29, to consider any vetoes or other business on the final 37th working day.

Among other actions Tuesday, the state board approved paying for one night of 14 unused motel rooms that the state Department of Agriculture had reserved during the 2020 State Fair in Huron. There wasn’t any discussion.

The department’s finance director, Chris Petersen, was on the conference call to give an explanation but no one asked. Petersen’s one-page letter was part of the board’s packet. The cost appeared to be $1,489.98

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