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House of Representatives
Session of 2015 - 2016 Regular Session

MEMORANDUM

Posted: January 13, 2015 03:21 PM
From: Representative Dan Truitt
To: All House members
Subject: Per Diem Ban Legislation Package
 
Once again taking a page directly out of the manual on “how to win friends”, I will once again re-introduce legislation completely banning legislative per-diems. Attached are the bills from last Session. I do realize that per-diems are a legitimate method for reimbursing job-related expenses that can reduce costs by minimizing administrative efforts. However, it seems obvious to me by the number of “right-to-know” requests for lists of the amounts of per-diems paid to legislators that the public holds a dim view of per-diems and suspects that legislators are profiting from them. I also can’t remember the last time someone in the private sector told me that their employer was still using per-diems.
A consistent theme I hear during my constituent outreach is that Pennsylvania citizens want to see legislators following the same practices that they follow in the private sector and I think that the additional effort to save and submit receipts for actual expenses would be worthwhile if it helps to restore public trust in state government.
I know from comments I received in the past that some of our colleagues who travel long distances are concerned that they would end up losing money on travel expenses under this proposal. However, I want to assure all of you that the goal here is to ensure that every member is reimbursed for every dime of their legitimate expenses incurred in the process of serving their constituents while assuring our constituents that we are not being reimbursed for more than our actual expenses. This legislation will not affect reimbursements for vehicle expenses. It will only ensure that we are reimbursed only for our actual expenses for meals and lodging.
If you share my desire to prove to the public that we are serious about transparency and controlling expenses, I hope that you will co-sponsor this legislation. There is one associated bill and one associated resolution. This will be my third shot at this and the number of co-sponsors has been growing with each new session. Maybe this time, we will reach critical mass?



Document #1

Introduced as HB233

Description: 1. (Previous HB-460) – Amending the Act of September 30, 1983 known as the Public Official Compensation Law, establishing compensation for certain public officials.

Previous co-sponsors include: TRUITT, TALLMAN, BLOOM, MACKENZIE, AUMENT, KNOWLES, CUTLER , MULLERY, SWANGER , GINGRICH , EMRICK, LAWRENCE, ROCK , McGINNIS, ROAE , GILLEN, DELOZIER, SIMMONS, SANKEY, GRELL and HELM
 
  View Attachment
 

Document #2

Introduced as HR61

Description: 2. (HR-50) – A Resolution amending House Rule 14 relating to Members’ and Employees’ Expenses.

Previous co-sponsors include: TRUITT, TALLMAN, BLOOM, MACKENZIE, AUMENT, KNOWLES, CUTLER , MULLERY, SWANGER , GINGRICH , EMRICK, ROCK , ROAE , GILLEN, DELOZIER, SIMMONS, SANKEY and GRELL
 
  View Attachment