Panel OKs small hike in legislators’ expense payPIERRE — A former state lawmaker made the drive from Lead to testify Wednesday against an increase in the daily expense rate for legislators.
By: Bob Mercer, Republic Capitol Bureau
PIERRE — A former state lawmaker made the drive from Lead to testify Wednesday against an increase in the daily expense rate for legislators.
Republican Jerry Apa came ready to argue but softened his remarks after learning the increase would be much smaller than first discussed. Apa said at the House hearing that he appreciated the decision to scale the increase back to $13 per day from the original proposal of $65 more per day. The current daily rate is $110.
“As a former appropriator, I would rather see zero,” Apa said. The legislation came from Rep. David Novstrup, R-Aberdeen. Novstrup’s revised plan now would tie the state legislators’ rate to the $123 federal rate.
The House State Affairs Committee voted 10-3 in favor of the revised bill. HB 1212 now goes to the full House of Representatives.
Novstrup didn’t have enough copies of his amendment for the entire committee. “I realize it’s hard to count to 13,” Rep. Mike Verchio, R-Hill City, said in reference to the panel’s roster.
“I know how to count to 13,” Novstrup replied.
“Prove it,” said the chairman, Rep. David Lust, R-Rapid City.
Novstrup replied that the proposed increase is $13 and there are 13 committee members. That drew a mixture of bemused chuckles from committee members and the audience.
“I’m sure the great debate will happen on the floor,” Rep. Kristin Conzet, R-Rapid City, said.More from around the web