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Decline in Median Household Income Triggers $1400 Pay Cut for Legislators

The Governor’s Office of Economic Development says the “long-term results” of their marketing efforts “are starting to speak for themselves“.

Legislators were probably less than receptive to that vague claim, because the results that are speaking directly to them include the pay cut they’re getting in 2024 due to South Dakota’s crashing median household income:

Next year, the salary for Pinnow and his fellow lawmakers will drop by about $1400 – from nearly $14,800 down to $13,400.

It’s the first decline, since lawmakers tied their salaries to the state’s median household income five years ago [link added; Lee Strubinger, “State Legislators Get a Pay Cut Next Year,” SDPB Radio, 2023.11.13].

The Legislature raised its pay in 2018 to keep up with inflation. But this pay cut amidst rising prices should serve as a poignant reminder to legislators that their policies have left South Dakota in economic stagnation.


  1. LCJ 2023-11-14 08:44

    And Bidenomics shows up in SD.

  2. larry kurtz 2023-11-14 08:50

    So, what’s not to like about six (seven? eight?) month winters, rampant racism, chilling effects on civil rights, an extremist legislature, living in a chemical toilet, sacrifice zone, perpetual welfare state and permanent disaster area.

    Probably not coincidental to Mrs. Noem’s political grandstanding is the flight of talent from the state and calls by its entire congressional delegation to ease immigration rules. Noem’s christianic religionists are apparently void of any compassion and choose to blame Democrats for inflation as labor shortages drive wage increases. It’s hypocritheocracy on meth.

  3. larry kurtz 2023-11-14 09:14

    Because of catastrophic failures of leadership the grassland fire danger index in South Dakota has been in the high and very high categories for nearly a week.

  4. O 2023-11-14 09:28

    LCJ, I don’t think you read the piece: Biden’s policies were the ones that propped UP income. What is showing up is GOP starve the beast economics, trickle down economics, where income redistribution is only allowed to go to the top through obscene tax policy and draconian spending policies. Congress holds those purse strings. Just think if the dozens of votes for speaker could have been votes on REAL issues facing Americans how much Congress could have accomplished.

    My only wish would be that more than just legislators had to feel the actual effects of lessened spending power so many SD families must live through. Those ate the top still do quite well in their glass houses.

  5. M 2023-11-14 10:47

    I think there’s lots of Biden money sitting in Pierre and not being used. People I know in other states have received covid money directly instead of it just going to businesses and to prop up tourism. I bet it’s just red states who DID NOT sent checks directly to the residents of the state.

    There are less than 1 million people in this state, yet Noem and her greedy Republicans hoarded the covid handouts. The median income would have risen had they given everyone their fair share. My sister in California received thousands from the state. It kept them in their house.

    These people who work in Pierre deserve to lose income then, just like the rest of us. In fact everyone I homecare for that’s on Social Security will not see their COLA due to rising food costs. Who represents them?

  6. sx123 2023-11-14 12:14

    M, they are probably thinking how to get their share without breaking conflict of interest laws. Maybe that’s why Kristi wants clarification, haha.

  7. Arlo Blundt 2023-11-14 14:28

    M is correct…the Noem administration with the active malfeasance of the Legislature has sandbagged millions of dollars in Covid and Infrastructure money in Pierre, diverted it to various and sundry of the Governor’s “development and tourism” projects, and is using it to “cook the books” giving the State a huge surplus to fritter away. While the state-wide economy is bleak, the Governor has plenty of cash at her disposal for her political and public relations adventures.

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