John Miller of Boise’s Associated Press bureau posted an interesting piece today about legislators who get paid for having a residence in Boise during the session, but live within 50 miles of the Capitol.
Senator John McGee, famed for recently surviving a DUI crash, avoiding auto theft charges, and terrorist attack in Turkey apparently collects $122 daily during the session like his colleagues from far away places, but stays with his Mom who lives in Boise. There was no indication that McGee actually paid Mom for his sleepovers, but there is no requirement in Idaho law that he has to pay in order to collect the per diem.
Some other legislators living close to Boise also take the per diem of a “second residence,” but they actually pay for a hotel room. Consequently, part-time lawmakers like McGee are bolstering their state retirement pension payments by taking the $122 per diem, because their pension payments will be based on their taxable incomes.
In the 88-day 2011 session, for instance, McGee boosted his income to $26,852, from $20,428 if he had taken only the $49 per diem.
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