Feb 18, 2010 9:12 AM by Bea Karnes, News First 5
Colorado lawmakers are looking at their own expenses as they try to balance the budget.
Lawmakers from outside the metro area get paid $150 a day to cover housing and meals while they're in Denver for the four-month session. The amount is set to rise to $191 a day in July, and legislative leaders from both parties want to forgo that raise until 2012.
That would save the state $238,005, a drop in the bucket toward closing the $1.5 billion budget deficit. The proposal passed its first committee vote Wednesday.
Republican Sen. Dave Schultheis of Colorado Springs was the only member to vote against it. He's a fiscal conservative and would like to see more deep cuts in the state budget. But with lawmakers earning $30,000 a year, he thinks some members are barely making it, and he's worried others will be discouraged from running from office.
The bill now heads to the Senate Appropriations Committee for another vote.