Legislative 'bed and benefits' Harrisburg-style

All members of the Pennsylvania General Assembly who live beyond a 25-mile radius of the Capitol are entitled to per diems - ostensibly for hotels and meals - while they are working in Harrisburg. But there is no required accounting about how they spend the up to $163 they get each day on top of their salaries.

More than a few lawmakers, including House Majority leader Todd Eachus (D., Luzerne), pocket the expense checks and return to houses each night in Harrisburg that they own - some of them even income-producing.

Some property-owning lawmakers told Boris Krawczeniuk of The Scranton Times in his recent investigative report that they lose money on their investment properties. But one government watchdog called "underwriting mortgages" an abuse of the per diems.



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