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Arizona House revives member expenses boost

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Posted at 3:25 PM, May 27, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-27 18:25:19-04

PHOENIX (AP) - The Arizona House Rules Committee killed and then revived a proposal that would triple the amount lawmakers get for expenses for each day they work as the Legislature rushes to finish its yearly session.

The appropriations committee passed the measure on a 9-1 vote late Monday morning. Minutes later, the measure failed to get a majority of Rules Committee members who normally rubber-stamp bills. About an hour later, the panel took a second vote with one opponent absent, sending the measure to the full House.

The Senate has an identical measure ready for a vote.

Lawmakers in both parties back the proposal, saying rural lawmakers especially are under-compensated for their costs of traveling to and staying in Phoenix during the session. They also note that federal tax law changes eliminated many expense write-offs.

The Arizona House Rules Committee has killed a proposal that would triple the amount lawmakers get for expenses for each day they work as the Legislature rushes to finish its yearly session.

The appropriations committee passed the measure on a 9-1 vote late Monday morning. Minutes later, the measure failed to get a majority of Rules Committee members who normally rubber-stamp bills. The measure could still be revived, but that appears unlikely.

Lawmakers in both parties back the proposal, saying rural lawmakers especially are under-compensated for their costs of traveling to and staying in Phoenix during the session. They also note that federal tax law changes eliminated many expense write-offs.

Lawmakers earn $24,000 a year, plus a daily expense stipend that currently is $60 for rural lawmakers and $35 for Maricopa County residents. Expense pay would rise to $185 a day and half that for Phoenix-area residents.

An Arizona House panel has advanced a proposal that would triple the amount lawmakers get for expenses for each day they work as the Legislature rushes to finish its yearly session.

The appropriations committee passed the measure Monday and it now goes to the full House. The Senate could vote on identical legislation Monday.

Lawmakers in both parties back the proposal, saying rural lawmakers especially are under-compensated for their costs of traveling to and staying in Phoenix during the session. They also note that federal tax law changes eliminated many expense write-offs.

Lawmakers earn $24,000 a year, plus a daily expense stipend that currently is $60 for rural lawmakers and $35 for Maricopa County residents. Expense pay would rise to $185 a day and half that for Phoenix-area residents.