Arkansas Senate Approves Bill Giving More for Legislator Expenses

MARCH 13, 2007 - Posted at 7:42 a.m. CDT

LITTLE ROCK, AR - The Arkansas Senate has approved a bill Monday providing a 50 percent increase in compensation for some of legislators' expenses and duties.  The measure's sponsor, Senator Shawn Womack of Mountain Home, says the proposal provides inflation adjustments for the expenses, left unchanged since 1997.

Under the bill, the maximum allowable expense payment to legislators would rise to $14,400 per year, up from $9,600.  Womack said those payments go toward renting office space, buying supplies and having telephone and data lines.

The bill would retroactively apply beginning March 1.  The increases would affect all of Arkansas' 35 senators and House members.  The bill now heads to the House.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)