Despite an accusation it’s “setting up a platform for only rich folk to serve in the Legislature,” Rep. Rick Womick’s bill to discontinue per diems for local lawmakers sailed through the House State Government committee Tuesday.
The Rutherford County Republican wants to eliminate the $107 daily lodging allowances for legislators who reside within 50 miles of the Capitol in Nashville.
“This is the right thing to do,” Womick, a second-term Republican, said. “If we’re not using a hotel, then we shouldn’t be reimbursed for something that we’re not receiving.”
In place of the daily per diem, he wants these members to receive mileage at the rate of 46 cents a mile for each legislative day on the Hill or any day, except Friday, that the member participates in any other meeting or activity held in Nashville – limited to one round trip per day.
Legislators would still receive the $66 a day for meals and incidentals they currently receive under the measure, House Bill 80.