GOP leaders move to trim lawmakers' expense paymentsby Tim Pugmire, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — Republican leaders in the Minnesota Senate are proposing a 10 percent cut in legislators' daily expense payments.
Senators can currently claim up to $96 a day in per diem when the Legislature is in session. The House expense payment is $77 a day.
Republican Senate Majority Leader Amy Koch of Buffalo says she'll formally propose the reduction Monday to members of the Senate Rules Committee. With the state facing a projected $6.2 billion budget deficit, Koch estimates the per diem cut will save about $100,000 a year.
"We know that there are going to be difficult decisions to be made throughout session, and that this budget solution is not going to be without some pain. And we felt it was extremely important, our caucus felt it was very, very important to start with us first," said Koch.
House GOP leaders say they're proposing a 25 percent reduction in the lodging allowance their members receive.
Assistant DFL Senate Minority Leader Terri Bonoff of Minnetonka said the cuts are political symbolism, not meaningful cost reductions.