GOP Senator wants to eliminate per diem pay if lawmakers go into a special session
St. Paul, MN – A bill introduced in the Minnesota Senate seeks to eliminate per diem pay for legislators if they fail to meet their deadlines and have to call for a special session.
Senator Scott Jensen (R – Carver County) is pushing the legislation, saying he believes taxpayers should not be responsible for lawmakers failing to meet their own deadlines.
“If we cannot get our standard workload done in time, I think we should forgo our daily meal per diem allowance” Jensen tells Alpha News, explaining that senators are allotted $86 a day for meals and representatives are allotted $66 a day for meals. “Evidently senatorial work creates a greater appetite” joked Jensen.
“If we cannot get the job done in time, we should not be given extra time on the taxpayer dime. We should come back to work and do the job that we have been elected to do and bring a peanut butter and jelly sandwich” said Jensen.
Jensen believes the bill will incentivise legislators to get their work done faster.
“Legislators have a tendency to slice and dice issues looking for a reason to disagree and then champion some remote possibility as being a reason to gridlock an issue” says Jensen, stating, “Special sessions are no longer the exception and some have cost the taxpayers in excess of $100,000.”
While Jensen’s bill won’t affect their yearly salary, his bill comes as news breaks that state legislators will be receiving a $14,000 pay raise, bumping their salaries from $31,140 to $45,000 per year.
The Pioneer Press reports that DFL Senator Ann Rest of New Hope believes this bill is unnecessary, saying many lawmakers already forfeit their per diems during special sessions.
A companion bill to Jensen’s has been introduced in the House.
Subscribe to Alpha News for further coverage.