TribLIVE

| Opinion/The Review


 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

The Legislature's per diems: Abolish them

Letters home ...

Traveling abroad for personal, educational or professional reasons?

Why not share your impressions — and those of residents of foreign countries about the United States — with Trib readers in 150 words?

The world's a big place. Bring it home with Letters Home.

Contact Colin McNickle (412-320-7836 or cmcnickle@tribweb.com).

Daily Photo Galleries

Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2013, 9:11 p.m.
 

It's pretty stunning to think that members of the Pennsylvania General Assembly are reimbursed for their expenses without documentation. It's even more stunning to think they can turn around and turn a profit from those receipt-less expenses.

But, then again, this is Pennsylvania, the State of Corruption.

We're talking — again — about per diems, those daily payments taxpayers make to house and feed lawmakers in the state capital when the Legislature is in session. Taxpayers shelled out nearly $4 million during the 2011-12 parade. Our leaders are paid a set rate of anywhere from $160 daily to $242 daily, depending upon where their official duties take them.

Our state representatives and senators should be reimbursed for work-related expenses, just as anyone else is. But they should be reimbursed for actual expenses and required to submit receipts, just as are we mere mortals in the real world.

Furthermore, per diems shouldn't be a profit center for legislators. Some have gone together to buy houses in Harrisburg, using the per diems to pay their mortgages. Down the road, technically, they could sell those houses at a profit. Is that really a proper use of per diems?

Pennsylvania legislators do have the option of turning in their receipts for actual reimbursement. Some do. The rest should follow their lead, do the accountable thing, then vote to end the practice of per diems.

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.

 

 
 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Editorials

  1. Sunday pops
  2. The silent treatment in Ford City: Forgotten words
  3. Taxing consequences: The Shell effect
  4. A green-tip assault: ATF’s end run
  5. The Box
  6. Saturday essay: Deer of fools
  7. Greensburg Laurels & Lances
  8. Union ‘ambush’: Not so fast
  9. The Thursday wrap
  10. Pittsburgh Laurels & Lances
  11. Greensburg Tuesday takes