DENVER (AP) -- Colorado senators from both parties are defending more money for expenses for rural lawmakers.
A bill that received tentative approval Tuesday includes a 22 percent per diem hike for the 41 lawmakers who live more than 50 miles from Denver. The hike of $33 per day is included in a routine legislative accounting bill.
The Republican and Democratic leaders in the Senate both defended the per diem hike. Republican Sen. Bill Cadman pointed out that lawmakers' pay is not going up, just reimbursement for expenses. And Democratic Sen. John Morse said the per diem hike would take effect even if senators voted against the accounting bill.
The measure including per diem faces one more Senate vote. It has already passed the Republican House.
(COPYRIGHT 2012 BY THE ASSOCIATED PRESS. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.)