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Measure To Increase Lawmaker Pay Fails In State Senate

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) — The state Senate has voted down a measure to increase lawmaker pay to $10,000 for each regular legislative session as part of an effort to encourage more South Dakotans to run for office.

The full Senate on Tuesday voted 21-11, less than the necessary two-thirds majority required to approve the plan to boost the current $6,000 salary.

Republican Sen. Craig Tieszen says his proposal was designed to make it easier for South Dakotans to serve. He says that higher pay will make the Legislature stronger.

Opponents argue that the money spent on raising legislator pay could go to other state priorities.

The state House has passed several proposals to allow for increases in South Dakota lawmakers’ compensation, which is among the lowest in the nation.