TX House Paid Daily Money for No Work

Texas House
Chairs in the Texas House of Representatives | Image by Ms S. Ann/Shutterstock

Members of the Texas House of Representatives received thousands of dollars in daily per diem allowances for the month of June despite attending only one day of the first special session.

Representatives receive a small annual salary of $7,200 for their part-time work in the Legislature but receive a large daily per diem when the House is in session. Each legislator is allotted $221 per day while the House is in session, and the money can be utilized whether the legislator is present at the Capitol or not.

According to a report from Texas Scorecard, each of the Texas House members will receive a check for a full month’s work. This totals $6,630 per member and nearly $200,000 for the entirety of the House.

Texas Scorecard contacted every member of the Texas House and reportedly found that some members are planning to refuse their allotment.

Rep. Todd Hunter of Corpus Christi and Rep. John Smithee of Amarillo plan to reimburse the House Business Office for the additional payments. Rep. Gary Gates of Richmond plans to utilize the extra cash to compensate his office support staff.

The Legislature is currently meeting for the second special session of 2023.

Governor Greg Abbott called the second special session on June 27 to push through key components of his legislative priorities. Abbott is pressing the House to embrace his property tax plan and pass border security measures.

Abbott has utilized his power to call special sessions and has vetoed dozens of bills to pressure House Speaker Dade Phelan and Lt. Governor Dan Patrick into reaching an agreement to pass property tax relief.

Texas has the sixth highest real estate property taxes in the United States, making it a hot-button political issue for residents of the Lone Star State.

According to a recent study, residents of Dallas are experiencing the largest property tax increases in the United States.

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