To the editor:
Sen. David Gowan is back at the trough again with HB2053. A few years ago, he spent thousands of taxpayer dollars to redecorate his office. He also spent State money to travel around Arizona in a run for Congress. Now he is trying to vote himself an increase in per diem from $60 per day to $207 per day. This would be consistent with the Federal employee rate. The difference is that Federal employees only claim per diem for the days they travel. Arizona legislators would get it 7 days per week, while spending only 4 days per week in session. Travel money is not taxable, so this is much more desirable than a salary increase.
He claims that this is an emergency so it can be started immediately. An emergency is for the “public peace, health, and safety” which are somehow threatened if they don’t get a big increase. Two more odious aspects of the bill are that the voters cannot challenge it and legislators will not have to vote themselves another raise because increases will be tied to Federal increases in per diem. This is not about political parties. It is about greed.