As reported in the Dallas Morning News, one of the first acts of the Texas House, in the biannual session beginning this month, was to vote for an increase in their personal budget. Here are excerpts from the story:
The House will spend up to $750,000 more on staff and office costs this session despite hard economic times and possible cuts to state services used by millions of Texans.
The House voted 128-11 to allow each member to spend an extra $1,000 for each of the five months they’re in Austin. That follows a $140,000 renovation of the House members’ lounge that was finished before lawmakers convened.
Rep. Charlie Geren, the Fort Worth Republican who was chief sponsor of the resolution that contained the increase, argued that representatives need more money to attract and retain talented employees, who they said are often plucked by senators offering higher pay. The monthly stipends cover staff, postage, rents for district offices and other expenses.