Pay Cut for Lawmakers?

Oklahoma City, OK – Lawmakers' per diem rates could be slashed

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) Senate leader Glenn Coffee says he will file a bill to allow cuts in the per diem expenses paid to state lawmakers during a budget shortfall.

Coffee outlined the idea Thursday while discussing budget cuts at the state Senate.

The Oklahoma City Republican says Senate staffers likely will have to take several furlough days once the session ends in May. Coffee also plans to eliminate coffee and tea service provided to members and consider voluntary buyout offers to some employees.

The state currently is facing a $1.2 billion shortfall, and most agencies are facing budget cuts of 10 percent or more for the upcoming fiscal year.

Lawmakers receive mileage reimbursement, and those who live outside a 50-mile radius receive $150 in per diem each day for food and lodging.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.