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Assemblyman accepts per diems despite promise

  • Associated Press
  • April 6, 2014 - 6:10 PM

MADISON, Wis. — A Republican Assemblyman who promised during his 2010 campaign to never claim any per diem payments received more than $10,000 in reimbursed living expenses last year.

Rep. Scott Krug of Nekoosa told the Wisconsin State Journal (http://bit.ly/1mQYwCc ) he didn't intend the promise to extend beyond his first term.

Krug had told the newspaper in 2010 he wanted to see legislative per diems cut. Per diems cover food and lodging costs while legislators are doing state business in Madison.

"My first spending cut is promising not to collect one cent of (legislative) per diem money ever," he said at the time. He kept the promise in 2011 and 2012.

But he said last year he spent a lot more time in the Capitol, meeting with lawmakers, negotiating with trade groups and running the Assembly's Children and Families Committee.

"It might have been a slip to say 'ever,' but my intention was to help out in a tough budget time," Krug said last week. "I try to help people understand I'm not getting extra salary — it's reimbursements for travel."

Nearly all state lawmakers collect per diems. Last year the average claimed per Assembly district was $8,672, while state senators collected an average of $9,230.

The amounts are in addition to legislators' annual salary of nearly $50,000.

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