PHOENIX (AP) - Arizona lawmakers are poised to consider tripling the amount of cash they're paid for each day they work in new legislation that emerged as their yearly session nears a close.
Lawmakers in both parties appeared supportive of the change Thursday. They said 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 the ability to write off those expenses.
Lawmakers earn $24,000 a year, plus a daily expense stipend that currently is $60 for rural lawmakers and $35 for Maricopa County residents.
The Senate bill introduced Thursday raises the daily rate for rural lawmakers to the federal rate of $185 a day and half that for Phoenix-area residents. The rate would adjust yearly.