State legislators receive a $104 per diem for expenses (in addition to their salaries). According to the News &Observer, this per diem is supposed to pay for legislators’ board, meals and other costs while they are in Raleigh
But it turns out that’s not how Republican Representative Harold Brubaker sees it.
Rep. Brubaker – who missed more than 10% of the days when the legislature was in session – took per diems for 25 days when he was not in Raleigh. He says he was “working on legislative business or attending conferences,” so it’s okay. Convenient.
Rep. Steve LaRoque of Kinston was more blunt. LaRoque missed 20 days and part of five other days and still took his per diems. He said: “It cost me money to serve – bottom line.” He added, “I hired somebody to help run my business while I’m in Raleigh, and I pay her more than I get paid to serve.”
Maybe Representative LaRoque would like to run for reelection on that platform next year: that taxpayers should pay him enough so he can pay someone to run his business while he’s in Raleigh.