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House speaker adopts new rules for paying for member travel

(AP Photo/Bob Christie)

PHOENIX — Arizona House of Representatives members will see tightened oversight of their travel expenses but will also be able to charge the state mileage for travel around their districts under a new policy.

The policy sent to members by Republican Speaker J.D. Mesnard Thursday also drastically limits the use of state fleet vehicles and requires far greater record-keeping by lawmakers.

The changes Mesnard adopted come more than a year after former Speaker David Gowan became embroiled in controversy over using state vehicles and claiming per diem expenses while campaigning for Congress. He eventually repaid the state $12,000 but an attorney general’s investigation remains open.

Mesnard successfully pushed a law allowing higher mileage rates for lawmakers this year. He also worked on revamping the travel policy to limit potential abuse.

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