California News

Jan 18, 2013 4:02 PM by Associated Press

California lawmakers adjust schedules to keep per diems

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - California lawmakers have adjourned for the long holiday weekend, but they will keep getting daily expense payments even while they're not in Sacramento.

Lawmakers adjusted their schedules to hold floor sessions on Friday and Tuesday to qualify for per diems. For most members, the payments add about $30,000 a year to the nation's highest legislative salaries.

Those who live outside the Sacramento area are paid $142 a day for expenses so long as the Legislature does not take break for more than three days.

Senate leader Darrell Steinberg says the schedule swap is justified because members' expenses, like renting a home in Sacramento, don't disappear when members leave town.

The Democrat from Sacramento says the payments won't further damage the Legislature's already poor showing in opinion polls.

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