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State House Tightens Rules for Member Travel Expenses

The Arizona Republic

Arizona House of Representatives members will see tightened oversight of their travel expenses but will also be able to charge the state mileage for travel around their districts under a new policy.

The policy sent to members by Republican Speaker J.D. Mesnard Thursday also drastically limits the use of state fleet vehicles and requires far greater record-keeping by lawmakers.

The changes Mesnard adopted come more than a year after former Speaker David Gowan became embroiled in controversy over using state vehicles and claiming per diem expenses while campaigning for Congress. He eventually repaid the state $12,000 but an attorney general's investigation remains open.

Mesnard successfully pushed a law allowing higher mileage rates for lawmakers this year. He also worked on revamping the travel policy to limit potential abuse.

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