Sometimes legislators need to do things to let other people (constituents, for example) know that the lawmakers are more careful with the taxpayer’s money than their own. Here is one example where that would have been a huge thing–and a hard thing, but would have gone far with constituents:
A South Dakota House committee has killed 3 measures that sought to trim state spending through pay cuts and reduced travel.
The amounts involved are small (in comparison with the entire state budget). And yes, legislators haven’t received actual pay raises in some time. Nonetheless, an apparent willingness to sacrifice just a bit would have helped to support the idea that our legislators in Pierre are more connected to reality and to serving the people than are the legislators in Washington, DC.
Unfortunately, actions like this move our thinking in the opposite direction.