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 Legislaure is in session. The House expense payment is $77 a day. Senate Majority Leader Amy Koch, R-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,” Koch said. “We felt it was extremely important, our caucus felt it was very, very important to start with us first.”
Assistant Senate Minority Leader Terri Bonoff, DFL-Minnetonka, said the cuts are political symbolism, not meaningful cost reductions.
House GOP leaders say they’re proposing a 25-percent reduction in the lodging allowance their members receive. They say the move could potentially save more than $400,000.