Rep. Dee Richard (No Party – Thibodaux) wants to freeze per diem payments to legislators for the next two years. That is to say, Rep. Richard does not want to eliminate the payments, but suspend the growth of those payments by putting a pay-ceiling on them.
The House and Governmental Affairs Committee approved the measure on a 9-7 vote after a motion to kill the idea died on a 9-8 vote.
House Bill 1390 now heads to the House floor.
“If we cannot live with $159 per diem, I shouldn’t say shame but….,” said state Rep. Dee Richard, No Party-Thibodaux, trailing off at the end of his sentence.
“I want to do something to show the Legislature wants to do something to reduce some of our costs,” said Richard, noting the state’s budget problems.
Per diem is the money lawmakers get to cover expenses while they are in session, attending interim committee meetings, legislative conferences and the like. The amount is tied to the rate federal employees receive when traveling in the Baton Rouge area.
The per diem amount is adjusted annually with the federal rate. Today, per diem is $159. It has risen from $113 in 2005.
Richard’s House Bill 1390 would freeze the $159 from July 1 to July 1, 2012.
In an unsigned editorial in The Daily Advertiser, a Lafayette, Louisiana, based newspaper, yesterday comments onthe current movement back towards “open primaries” or “top two primaries” in Louisiana.
The first and loudest objection will be the one we cited earlier: Open primaries let everyone vote for anyone they want. But it’s important to remember that primaries are creatures of political parties, and their purpose is to choose political party nominees. In that sense, Louisiana didn’t really open the primaries. It abolished them.If allowing any registered voter to vote for any primary candidate was the goal, doing away with party registration and allowing everyone to request the ballot he or she wants to vote would have done the trick. If economizing on elections was the goal, well, Stalin and Hitler figured out startlingly effective ways to save on ballots.
The editorial serves as a good comparison between a state that [read more]
Polk County Commissioner Randy Wilkinson made it a three-party race Friday for the U.S. House of Representatives District 12 seat being vacated by U.S. Rep. Adam Putnam, R-Bartow.
Wilkinson, elected to the commission as a Republican, is running for Congress as a member of the Tea Party. On his campaign documents, the Bartow resident said he is a member of that party and not a registered member of any other party.
Scott Williamson, New Path candidate for the LNC Region 4 seat, announced today that New Path has gained additional candidates. Brad Ploeger of Georgia is now running for Regional 4 Alternate Representative. [read more]
A few weeks ago, Florida Republican U.S. Senate candidate Marco Rubio looked like he would be sailing into Washington with the political winds of talk radio and the tea parties at his back. [read more]
Having observed a recent inquiry by former Vice Chair of the LNC, Chuck Moulton to Wayne Root, I’d like to extend the franchise to at least a half hour of thinking towards all the candidates. [read more]