Lou Correa Refuses His State Senate Per Diem

State Sen. Lou Correa (D-Santa Ana) is not accepting his $142-per-day subsidies for living expenses (called per diem), retroactive to July 1, when this session's budget impasse began.

Correa joins three other legislators refusing their per diem, while a fifth has vowed to donate to a nonprofit funds that accrue during the deadlock.

The Sacramento Bee has the scoop.

The other legislators refusing the living expenses are Assembly Republican leader Martin Garrick of Solana Beach, Assemblyman Ted Gaines (R-Roseville) and Sen. Leland Yee (D-San Francisco). Sen. Joe Simitian (D-Palo Alto) is the one who indicated he would donate his per diem to charity.

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This is largely symbolic because only legislative leaders like Garrick and the 10 members of the joint budget conference committee are currently accruing per diem. The rest of the Legislature is scheduled to work at district offices throughout July.

However, while the politicans are not due back in Sacramento until Aug. 2, it is possible they could be called back before then and--knowing California--very likely there won't be a budget by then anyway.

Correa made headlines during the last painfully long budget process when he briefly held out his vote and had to be wooed to sign on by leaders of his party and the governor.

While he and Yee are mates when it comes to refusing per diem, they are at odds when it comes to budget proposals. Correa has said he will balk at any tax proposals, while Yee will refuse cuts to social spending.

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