Wednesday, January 10, 2007

This may backfire...

With fiscal responsibility being a top issue for elected officials, increasing per diem amounts may not have been the smartest thing to do.

The Strib has a report on how it all went down at the Capitol.

In the Senate, the daily expense allowance, known as per diem, goes from the
$66 in effect since 2001 to $96. Legislators do not need to report specific
expenses to collect per diem.

The maximum monthly apartment
rent reimbursement for 28 senators who live at least 50 miles from the State
Capitol, last raised in 2000, rises from $900 to $1,200.

Legislative salary adjustments require formal action
by the House, Senate and governor. But expense allowances are set by the Rules
Committees of both chambers and require no recorded votes on the floor.

I do think our legislators are underpaid for what they do, however I would feel better had this gone to a full vote on the floors of both chambers.

We'll see how this pans out...

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