With the minimum wage increasing this week for South Dakota hourly workers those who represent us in the state house will also see an increase. South Dakota legislators headed to the state Capitol for the 2019 session are getting their first pay raise in about two decades.

State lawmakers will be paid $11,378.80 in 2019, a roughly 90 percent jump from the $6,000 per session they've received since 1998. Legislators also get a per diem allowance that's increased during that time.

House Majority Leader Lee Qualm, a Republican, says the raise will allow more people to get involved in state politics.

The wage hike is part of a law approved last year that set legislator salaries at one-fifth of the South Dakota median household income.

Supporters said the measure aimed to fairly compensate future lawmakers in order to encourage a wider range of qualified candidates to run for office.

The 2019 session begins January 8.

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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