End To Lawmaker Perk Could Cost California More In Long Run

SACRAMENTO (KCBS) – California lawmakers are going to lose a big perk this week: their state-funded cars. However, the change could actually cost taxpayers more in the long run.

Until now, the state has paid for cars, gas, insurance and maintenance for the elected officials’ vehicles. Lawmakers only have to repay a portion of the purchase price.

But, the Citizens Compensation Commission has decided that perk – which, according to the commission, cost the state $735,000 last year – has to go.

KCBS’ Chris Filippi Reports:

“It sounds luxurious but it’s not all that great a deal,” reasoned Sacramento-based political consultant Leo McElroy.

Those same lawmakers will instead be reimbursed 55.5-cents per mile for using their own cars, which is estimated to cost more than $1 million annually.

“The public’s going to look at these numbers and they’re going to flinch, the bookkeepers for the state are going to look at the numbers and they’re going to go nuts, we’re trying to cut expenses and we have just kicked them up at least another half-million bucks a year,” warned McElroy.

(© 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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