Posts tagged: per diem
The 2012 Legislature will likely address lawmakers' per diem expenses, to determine who should receive a $49 payment, or a larger $122 payment, House Minority Leader John Rusche said today. In a blog posted at the Idaho Democratic Party website, the Lewiston lawmaker said, “To be clear up front, I do get a per diem payment of $122 per day during the legislative session to offset the cost of maintaining a second residence. … “I think that the rules are fairy clear — those from over 50 miles away get a higher per diem but it is not income or added into pension amounts. Those from inside 50 miles get the lower ($49) amount, but it is treated, by IRS rules, as income and is taxed. I think commuting costs should be considered covered by the per diem. “What I thought was clear obviously is not. We will be addressing this during the session I am sure”/Kevin Richert, Idaho Statesman. More here.
Question: What should the Idaho Legislature do to fix per diem expenses?
On his Idaho Statesman blog this afternoon, opinionator Kevin Richert proposes that the Idaho Legislature shut down per diem payments. Quoth: “The solution, as I now see it, also seems clear. Drop the per diem system. Make lawmakers file expense reports — and reimburse them for legitimate, work-related costs.” Then, Kevin adds: “I can also hear lawmakers — so fiscally conservative when it suits their purpose — arguing that a reimbursement system would simply create a costly bureaucracy. Again, too bad. Yes, the state might have to hire staff to review and approve expenses. But taxpayers are forking over nearly $1 million a year, ostensibly for expenses, but with no oversight. Given that, I’ll bet the bean counters would earn their keep.” More here.
Question: Do you agree with Kevin Richert that Idaho legislators should be forced to submit receipts for actual expenses rather than receive per diem payments?