Noem signs bill to give top state officials raises

March 23, 2021 GMT

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) — Gov. Kristi Noem has signed legislation that gives herself a pay raise if reelected and those of other top state officials.

The bill raises the salaries of the governor, the attorney general, the secretary of state, the state auditor, the state treasurer, and the commissioner of school and public lands.

The governor’s 9.4% raise to $130,000 a year pays the state’s top executive more or equal to South Dakota’s six neighboring states. The governors of Nebraska and Wyoming make $105,000 a year, the Rapid City Journal reported. Iowa pays its governor $130,000.

The raises will take effect on July 1, 2023. Noem’s current term ends on Jan. 3, 2023.

The attorney general will make $125,000, an increase of about 5%. The secretary of state, state auditor, state treasurer, and the commissioner of school and public lands will receive $113,000 per year, up from about $95,000.

Republican Senate Majority Leader Gary Cammack said the pay scale for top state officials has not kept pace with other government agencies. Cammack said the raises were similar to those given to judges this year through another appropriations bill.

But, Republican Sen. Jim Bolin argued that constitutional officers receive a cost-of-living adjustment every year and that the raises are not needed.