State Commission exploring cutting lawmaker per diem

State Commission exploring cutting lawmaker per diem »Play Video
California Capitol
BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — Being an elected official, it's logical that you have to travel Sacramento. For some, the trip could be a few hundred miles, and that comes at a cost.

Recent budget troubles at the state level have some looking for ways to tighten Sacramento's belt. Last year, the state Citizens Compensation Commission voted cut the per diem by 18 percent.

Recently, the commission started looking into whether lawmakers could collect per diem even if they don't attend meetings. Currently, lawmakers receive $142 per day to cover travel expenses while in Sacramento.

According to information obtained by Eyewitness News, in 2010 Assembly members recorded 239 absences. Senate member had 176 absences. Nearly 75 percent of those were still paid per diem, costing taxpayers more than $43,000.