Rep. David Stevens expected to join Tucson Democrat in filing bipartisan bill for current session
A measure being crafted by two Southern Arizona legislators would scrap the current per diem payment of $35 a day for lawmakers living within 50 miles of the Capitol and $60 for everyone else. Various efforts over the past two decades to vote to boost that have fallen short.
In its place would be a formula tied to the rate the Internal Revenue Service allows.
Out-of-area legislators would get the full rate, about $163 a day now. Those closer to the Capitol would automatically be entitled to 60 percent of that figure, or close to $98.
And they would get that seven days a week for every day the Legislature is in session, even though lawmakers usually only meet four days a week at the beginning of every year. Lawmakers also could get allowances for coming to the Capitol for special meetings or other official business.
Barring any last-minute hitches, the measure should sail through the House. Rep. David Stevens, R-Sierra Vista, claims to already have 45 of the 60 House members, all of whom would be affected, signed on in support.
Stevens now is lining up votes among senators.