Arkansas Lawmakers Support Eliminating Reimbursements To Allow Pay Raises

Mar 18, 2015

Arkansas lawmakers have overwhelmingly supported cutting members' reimbursement expenses so that their pay can more than double.

The House voted 90-1 Wednesday to eliminate the more than $14,000 in reimbursements that lawmakers can receive for office expenses. An identical measure cleared the Senate on a 34-0 vote. A final vote on the legislation is expected as soon as Thursday.

An independent panel on Monday approved increasing lawmakers' salaries from $15,869 a year to $39,400, but said the raises wouldn't take effect until 10 days after legislation eliminating the expenses is signed into law.

Democratic Rep. John Walker of Little Rock, the only lawmaker to oppose the legislation, said it sends the wrong message to voters for the Legislature to propose cuts and increase its pay.