West River Legislators detail legislative plans for 2015, including to help legislators make ends meet.
KOTA TV was interviewing legislators recently, and caught up with them on their legislative plans, which include fighting the pine beetle, education, and making sure legislators are paid enough to make ends meet.
Verchio plans to work $1.5 to $2 million dollars into the budget to continue fighting the mountain pine beetle fight.
He says it is important to focus on privately-owned land. “We’re the money would go to small private-property owner to help subsidize their fight,” said Verchio. “Beetles will just keep growing and growing if we don’t fight them on the private property, it doesn’t do any good to fight them in the surroundings properties because then they spread on out to private properties.”
Senator Craig Tieszen (R-District 34) says he will again be proposing an increase in salary pay for legislators.
Tieszen says people are asked to leave their normal jobs in January, February, and March and that makes it hard for some people to make ends meet financially. “I think it’s so low we exclude people from serving in the legislature and that has a detrimental effect,” said Tieszen.
Lastly, Representative Jacqueline Sly (R-District 33) says teacher pay and school funding are issues that will be talked about during this legislative session.
Seriously, I’m not trying to pick on Craig TIeszen, but this is twice in a week he’s in the news offering legislation that seems… well, seems destined to go down in flames. First it was going backwards on felon voting, and today it’s increasing legislative pay.
It’s not like the legislative pay issue hasn’t gone to the ballot before. It comes up about every 2-3 years, and someone who is term limited out makes the proposal. And then it goes down in flames, either in the legislature, or at the ballot box. Noting that Tieszen is termed out after this session, we can put this attempt into that pattern.
I’ll be the first to agree that legislators are underpaid, and we need broad representation, and it’s one way to attract good people to run for office. But, it’s traditionally been a really, really tough sell to taxpayers. And in some cases, it’s been used against those voting for it in elections.
I’ll put it to you dear readers – What’s your opinion?