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South Dakota Capitol Building in Pierre.

Journal file

PIERRE | The first pay raise for South Dakota lawmakers since 1999 won final approval Wednesday from the state House of Representatives.

Rep. Leslie Heinemann, R-Flandreau, made brief remarks in favor. The tally was 52-15. Lawmakers would be paid an amount equal to one-fifth of the median South Dakota household income each year.

Heinemann said the Senate changed the bill slightly so the U.S. Census Bureau’s current population survey would be used. The latest estimate from the Legislative Research Council puts the amount at about $11,800 next year. The current salary is $6,000.

The change would take effect for the new term starting Jan. 1.

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The Senate approved it 28-6 Tuesday. Legislators aren’t allowed to raise their salaries during their current terms. HB 1311 goes next to Gov. Dennis Daugaard for his review. He is expected to allow it to become law.

LRC director Jason Hancock said after the vote Wednesday the total estimated cost for this change would be $655,624, after accounting for the 7.65 percent employer share of Social Security and Medicare taxes. 

"Keep in mind these are just estimates, based on an average of recent increases in South Dakota median household income," Hancock said. "The actual figures will not be known until the next round of relevant annual census data is published, likely in early fall."

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