Saturday, October 22, 2011

Idaho Lawmaker Wants to Curb Per Diem Benefits for Local Legislators

Posted By on Sat, Oct 22, 2011 at 7:29 AM

The controversial debate about which Idaho lawmakers receive a per diem, and how much, is expected to make its way to the floor of the Idaho Legislature in 2012.

On Sept. 30, the Associated Press reported that Republican State Sen. John McGee collected a $122 per diem while sleeping at his parents' Boise home during the past legislative session. That, in spite of the fact that McGee lives 26 miles from the Statehouse. The per diem adds up to $6,000 annually.

Additionally, the AP reported that Republican Sen. Curt McKenzie, living 22 miles away in Nampa, took extra per diem cash during this year's legislative session.

Republican Rep. Dennis Lake of Blackfoot said Friday that he will introduce legislation to prevent such per diem payouts from boosting lawmakers' state retirements. Lake said it's unfair that Treasure Valley legislators can get more generous pensions because of the practice.

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