RCJ has an article today about the salary amount that Gov. Daugaard has set for his Lt. Gov. Matt Michels — making Michels the 12th highest paid Lt. Gov. in the nation. Not exactly a factoid that makes one think of tough budget decisions and austerity. But….if you look at the bottom line — Gov. Daugaard has cut his staff’s pay by $185,000 over the total paid during the Rounds administration. Frankly — that is a factoid that leads by example on austerity.
Personally — if Gov. Daugaard had asked me about what salary he should set for his Lt……I would have suggested a lower figure — call me old fashioned but I find it out of place to have the Lt. paid more than the Gov…..anyway….the other relevant reason for having set the salary lower is to avoid the storm that is happening now….the $120,000 that the very qualified Michels is receiving from SD has distracted folks and diminished the hard choices that the Gov. has already made in his executive office budget….savings that are nothing to sneeze at and at the end of the day — that is the figure that should matter. As our chief executive, Gov. Daugaard can divide the pie in anyway he sees fit — that’s part of the power we gave him on November 2nd. The bottom line and the story is — he’s already saving SD money.