Brack: Pat a legislator on the again

For all the grief that South Carolina legislators get, all of us ought to keep in mind to pat them on the again extra typically.


The job they do is commonly thankless. Not solely are they barked at by cynical columnists, however they take heed to infinite citizen complaints and concepts, sit via mind-numbingly lengthy conferences on points huge and small, and transfer from one political disaster to a different. From January to May on Tuesdays via Thursdays, they convene in Columbia, many now driving forwards and backwards each day.

Their official pay? A measly $10,400 a yr. Of course, in addition they receives a commission $1,000 a month for in-district bills and $140 in per diem funds for every day that the legislature is in session. But when every little thing is totalled, the common South Carolina legislator earns about $35,000 a yr from the state simply to be a cog within the wheel that runs state authorities.

At least they receives a commission one thing. Legislators in New Mexico get no base pay and people in New Hampshire get $100 a yr, based on the National Conference of State Legislators.  Both, nevertheless, get reimbursed for mileage. There are some 7,572 elected state legislators within the United States.  Just over 3,300 are Democratic. Another 3,900+ are Republican and 217 are in different events, based on the NCSL. Seven of each 10 are white. Just below three in 10 are feminine.

Across the nation, most legislators are like these in South Carolina – they’re “citizen-legislators” in that the job is part-time. The notion is that by having elected officers in enterprise and the neighborhood on the similar time, they’ll stay nearer to the desire of the individuals. Sometimes the strain between common jobs and legislative jobs causes battle, however that’s why, partly, information organizations function watchdogs to ensure that the general public’s enterprise is on the up-and-up.

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