Who's picking up the tab for your legislator today?
7 a.m.-8 a.m., Capitol Hill Building: Arkansas Beverage Association, Dennis Farmer; Arkansas Society of Professional Lobbyists, Laura Hawkins
Noon – 1:30 p.m. Capitol HIll Building, Arkansas Health Care Association [nursing homes], Ernest Cunningham.
Not to be picky — well, OK, to be picky: Legislators who are receiving per diem for these daily orientation sessions this week are nominally being made a payment to offset expenses. Maybe those payments should be ratcheted downward to reflect the cost of free meals. Think?
CORRECTION: Mary Dandurant of the Society of Association Executives said the group did not participate in breakfast, as the legislators' official list indicated and as I originally wrote. She said the group had planned a legislative event, but after the approval of Issue 3 on Nov. 4 decided it should pull back from sponsoring such events until the "dust cleared."
UPDATE: A state employee notes that the per diem paid state employees on business — and it's a lower amount than legislative per diem — is paid in full only if all the money is spent and documented by receipts. When meals are provided at an event, no meal per diem is allowed.