Legislators push to increase per diem to $175PIERRE — Rep. David Novstrup, R-Aberdeen, wants each legislator to receive $65 more in additional daily expense allowance while in session or in special session.
By: Bob Mercer, Republic Capitol Bureau
PIERRE — Rep. David Novstrup, R-Aberdeen, wants each legislator to receive $65 more in additional daily expense allowance while in session or in special session.
His legislation, HB 1212, would increase the allowance to $175 per day in session from the present $110.
For a 38-day session such as this year, his increase would be an extra $2,470 for a total of $6,650.
The legislative per diem was last increased more than a decade ago. Then-Rep. Kenneth McNenny, RSturgis, sponsored the change in 2000, raising it from $95. That increase took effect Jan. 1, 2001.
Novstrup’s bill doesn’t touch the $6,000 annual salary, which has been in place since Jan. 1, 1999. The salary was last increased during the 1998 session to take effect the following year. Then-Rep. Gary Sokolow, D-Vermillion, sponsored the bill.
Prior to 1999, the salary was $4,267 for a 40-day session and $3,733 for a 35-day session. With the Novstrup increase, legislators would receive more in expense allowance than in salary.
Sokolow, by the way, served only one term, 1997-98.
During the ’98 session, the lawyer was 3-for-3 in getting his bills passed into law.
The House co-sponsors are all Republicans. They are Kristin Conzet, of Rapid City, Justin Cronin, of Gettysburg, House Speaker Brian Gosch, of Rapid City, Majority Leader David Lust, of Rapid City, and Roger Solum, of Watertown.
The lead Senate sponsor, if the bill gets there, is Republican Larry Rhoden, of Union Center. The other Senate co-sponsors are Democratic Leader Jason Frerichs, of Wilmot, and Republicans Ryan Maher, of Isabel, Deb Peters, of Hartford, Tim Rave, of Baltic and Larry Tidemann, of Brookings.
Novstrup’s father is not among the co-sponsors.
“I almost never sign his bills, and vice versa,” Sen. Al Novstrup, RAberdeen, said. The bill is assigned to the House State Affairs Committee, which Lust chairs.