Legislation To Cut Lawmaker Salaries Fails
By Kealey Bultena
Members of South Dakota’s House shot down a measure to scale back their own salaries. Some representatives say it’s not just about the money.
South Dakota legislators make about $6,000 a year. A bill on the House floor cuts ten percent from those paychecks. Republican Mark Willadsen says lawmakers should operate like the rest of the South Dakota.
"Now nobody likes a pay cut. I know I don’t. I guess I don’t expect you to, either," Willadsen says. "But after all, this is the same thing we’re asking many of the other parts of state government to do."
But several representatives, including Republican Fred Romkema, say lowers salaries lead to having only old or independently wealthy people in office.
"If we continue to cut these wages, the young people – I think us old people outnumber them – wont’ run. They won’t be able to afford to," Romkema says.
Two-thirds of representatives didn’t support the measure, so it failed.
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