by Max Brantley
I'll believe Republican Rep. Nate Bell and his cohort opportunists are serious about saving taxpayer money when:
1) They accept the same mileage reimbursement rate other state employees receive — 42 cents a mile. (Or better yet, a much lower figure in line with what many private employees receive.) Legislators now get 51 cents and Bell wants a medal for opposing a small increase allowed by IRS guidance.
2) They stop taking tens of thousands of dollars in unconstitutional, undocumented salary supplements masquerading as expense reimbursements or "consulting" fees.
All this arises from Bell's publicity-grabbing and irrelevant news release demanding that legislators not get a 4-cent increase in reimbursement allowed by IRS regulations. House leadership had already decided to avoid bad PR from the piddling move.
Again, Rep. Bell, save millions by demanding that legislators follow the clear constitutional mandate and receive in excess of salary only reimbursement for documented expenses. He's easily the hypocrite of the day, which is still young.