- Associated Press - Monday, March 5, 2018

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) - Twin bills that would give South Dakota legislators a pay raise and tie their salaries to the state’s median household income are advancing at the Capitol.

House lawmakers voted 49-15 Monday to approve one proposal. The Senate State Affairs Committee voted earlier that day to send a mirror version to the Senate floor.

Republican Sen. Jeffrey Partridge says the measure aims to fairly compensate future lawmakers in order to encourage a wider range of qualified candidates to run for office.

Republican Sen. Stace Nelson, an opponent, says there are many qualified South Dakotans who are willing to serve.

The bills would set legislators’ salaries at one-fifth of the South Dakota median household income. That would increase pay to more than $10,000, up from lawmakers’ current salary of $6,000 per session plus a per diem allowance.

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