Harwell should be commended for effort to combat per diem abuse
Tennessee House Speaker Beth Harwell should be commended in her efforts to stop per diem abuse in the General Assembly.
Tennessee House Speaker Beth Harwell has taken a critical step to restore public confidence in the workings of the General Assembly in deciding to limit the per diem legislators can receive for out-of-State travel. Until May 13th, legislators were allowed one out-of-State trip per year where they were not only paid per diem but their travel and hotel expenses were covered. That part of the present policy won’t be changing, but what has changed is that legislators were able to take other trips besides their one allowed, and they couldn’t claim travel and hotel expenses, but could claim per diem, and now, they are no longer able to do so.
Harwell should be commended for the actions that she has chosen to take. In the past, I have defended our legislative per diem system, but it is still subject to abuse, especially by those members who actually live in Nashville or Davidson County and milk it for all it is worth. Lieutenant Governor Ron Ramsey should strongly consider following Speaker Harwell’s lead on this issue in the Senate.