Despite the Legislature’s protest that switching to a mileage-based reimbursement system would raise expenses, the 2011 elimination of a perk providing cars to lawmakers has saved hundreds of thousands of dollars annually, according to a Sacramento Bee analysis of travel records.
The California Senate and Assembly spent about $750,000 on mileage in the 2015-16 session, paying members 53 cents per mile when they drove their personal vehicles on legislative business. That’s almost half the nearly $1.4 million cost of car leases, maintenance and gas in 2009-10, the last full two-year session before the program was dumped amid state budget woes.
It is nevertheless a small drop in the Legislature’s overall budget, which includes salaries and benefits for thousands of employees, travel, office supplies and other services. Spending for the Senate and Assembly totaled $246.8 million last year alone, according to annual reports, up about 14 percent since 2010.
But Secretary of the Senate Danny Alvarez said even small reductions in administrative costs…
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