In spring 2020, when the plug was pulled on in-person meetings across Pennsylvania, the state legislature followed suit and shifted its sessions virtually. That move didn’t stop some lawmakers from submitting reimbursable receipts for food and lodging, reports Angela Couloumbis of Spotlight, PA.
Per diem payments are daily flat rates that lawmakers can claim when they travel more than 50 miles from their homes for legislative business.
Legislation was proposed to halt per diem payments during the pandemic, but it never reached a vote.
As COVID-19’s effects continued to decimate the statewide economy, seven Bucks County lawmakers nonetheless continued to request per diem payments:
- Rep. Craig T. Staats
- Rep. Frank Farry
- Rep. Kathleen “K.C.” Tomlinson
- F. Todd Polinchock
- Rep. Perry Warren
- Rep. Meghan Schroeder
- Rep. Tina M. Davis
By mid-March last year, both the Pennsylvania House and Senate were working remotely. Party leaders and committee chairs were onsite to consider legislation, but rank-and-file members voted from home.
A Democratic colleague from Delaware called the suspension of per diem payments “…the least we can do,” considering the economic impact of COVID statewide.
Read more about Pennsylvania’s legislative per diem allotments during the COVID-19 outbreak at Spotlight PA, here.