Arizona Lawmakers Consider How To Revisit Per Diem Increase After Ducey's Veto

By Bret Jaspers
Howard Fischer, Capitol Media Services
Published: Tuesday, June 11, 2019 - 8:56am
Updated: Tuesday, June 11, 2019 - 8:57am
Howard Fischer/Capitol Media Services
Noel Campbell

Arizona lawmakers are wondering how to re-visit the idea of increasing their compensation following Gov. Doug Ducey’s veto of a bill that would’ve raised per diem allowances.

Rep. Noel Campbell (R-Prescott) who sponsored the House version of the increase, said this isn't about lawmakers lining their pockets.

"We have members that are living in motor homes in not-very-nice locations," he said. "And it's all because of inflation."

He pointing out the allowance of $60 a day for rural lawmakers and $35 for Maricopa County legislators has not been adjusted since 1984.

Any increase in lawmaker salary above $24,000 a year would require voter approval, but House Democratic Minority Leader Charlene Fernandez doubts that’ll work.

"As long as we continue to act the way we do, I can't even imagine, if we were to put this on the ballot for a pay increase, that the public would grant us one," she said. "When we go to work in the morning, and one member is not there from the other party and so we don't do any work, why would they give us a raise in pay?"

Another route would be to try again next year to raise per diem allowances. In his veto letter, Ducey was open to raising them for rural lawmakers.

Any effort to do that would still require votes from lawmakers who live inside Maricopa County.

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