Commission Declines to Raise Legislators' Session Per Diem Pay
At the urging of top Republican leaders in the Texas House and Senate, the Texas Ethics Commission has declined to raise the session pay for state legislators.
Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst and House Speaker Joe Straus asked the commission in early January not to raise the per diem that legislators get every day they’re in session. The commission, charged with setting the rate, had proposed raising it from $150 to $179 ahead of its meeting this week.
But Thursday, commissioners voted 6-2 to accept the leaders' recommendation and go with the lower figure, according to Jim Clancy, the chairman of the commission. The decision cost legislators about $4,000 for the session.
Legislators get an annual salary of just $7,200, and the per diems were conceived as a way to defray living costs while legislators are away from home. Members typically pocket them and use their campaign accounts to pay for lodging and other expenses during sessions.
1. They don't need a per diem at all. They have to kick back at least 20% of the graft they get
while in session.
Had a good friend who was the lobbyist for the Texas used car dealers' association, and he would say that he could whatever he wanted from any member of the Lege for a quart of so-so whiskey and a third-string prostitute.