A plan to ban lawmakers living close to the Capitol from receiving a daily lodging allowance for each day on the Hill won approval in the House of Representatives easily Monday, although its future is still uncertain.
House sponsor Rep. Rick Womick (R-Rockvale) said he will not accept any changes to his bill, including plans from the Senate that require lawmakers who live outside a 50-mile radius of the Capitol show a receipt to be reimbursed for their lodging expenses.
“My word is my bond. It will not change, otherwise it won’t become law,” said Womick, who drives 38 miles to Legislative Plaza for session four days a week.
The bill passed the House 72-15, despite criticism from a handful of lawmakers who argued they give up their time away from their jobs back home to serve the legislature. The measure now faces a committee hearing in the Senate.
All lawmakers receive $107 a day to cover their lodging expenses, whether they sleep at home, in a hotel or in their legislative office. The bill would take away that payment from lawmakers living within 50-miles. But it would allow those same lawmakers to collect the mileage costs for their daily trips to the Hill each day.