Republican leaders at the Capitol are looking to reduce per diem and lodging reimbursements to legislators as part of a larger move to cut state costs, they say.
In the state Senate, legislators could take a $10 cut to their $96 per diem payments. GOPers are also proposing to ban state reimbursed out-of-state travel. Senate Majority Leader Amy Koch said the move could save $100,000 annually.
In the House, Republicans are proposing a reduction of lodging reimbursements, scaling back the maximum reimbursement for rural members from $28,800 to $21,600. House Republican spokeswoman Jodi Boyne said exact savings are hard to calculate now, as it’s still unclear how many members will take the reimbursement, and if they will take the maximum amount.
Both changes must go before a vote in the House and Senate Rules committees. Koch said the move is part of a larger effort to trim the government’s budget that started with the slimmed-down committee structure and reduced staffing levels. She said it’s important to “start with us first” in the process of trimming the budget. “It’s not a budget solving measure by any means,” she said, “but it’s still an important step.”