Recall the posts on this last year.
According to a SC Times investigation, 18 legislators received more in per diem and other compensation than their annual salary, $31,140.
I opposed the sharp increases in per diem back in March 2007. I believe that our legislators are not properly compensated for the work that they do. However, the back door pay increases like raising per diem from $66 a day to $96 a day look like ways to skirt the system, especially since no receipts are required.
So, let's take another look at what our local leaders hauled in last year!
Bruce Anderson: $18,066. He's noted to be a "friend of the taxpayer".
Tom Emmer: $7,322.
Mark Olson: $13,794.
Ron Shimanski: $14,372.
Dean Urdahl: $19,793. How many church potlucks did he claim?
With more than $3.45 million spent on legislator per diem thus far in 2008 and the state facing a significant budget deficit, rumored to be in the $4-$6 Billion range, will our elected leaders do the right thing and reduce the spending on per diems?
Will they create a stronger system of accountability?
We'll go into a more detailed account of the per diem follies in a later post, just as we did last year.