JEFFERSON CITY, Missouri — Missouri Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder is asking lawmakers to give him a daily expense allowance for working at the state Capitol.
Kinder, a Republican, lives in Cape Girardeau and maintains a second home in Jefferson City.
He receives an annual salary of about $86,000. But Kinder said he's experienced "gradual impoverishment" during his decade in office, because he's had to use personal funds to pay for housing and meals when working in Jefferson City.
Kinder's salary is less than other statewide executive officials but well more than the $36,000 that legislators receive. He has asked members of the House and Senate budget panels to insert a per diem for him in the 2016 state budget that takes effect in July.
One of the lieutenant governor's duties is to preside over the Senate. Kinder said wants to receive the same allowance that legislators get, which is $103 a day. He's seeking a per diem whenever he's in Jefferson City, not just when the Legislature meets, because he also serves on various executive branch boards and commissions.
"I am situated exactly as members of the Legislature are, in living in a district community and maintaining some kind of residence when I'm here," Kinder said.
Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Kurt Schaefer, R-Columbia, said he thought it was odd that the lieutenant governor does not get a per diem, since he's required to preside over the Senate. Schaefer said senators would look into providing him one.
A per diem would enhance Kinder's pay by thousands of dollars a year, but the exact amount would depend on how many days he works in Jefferson City.
Missouri's governor is provided a house in Jefferson City. But none of Missouri's other executive officials are provided housing, and none has asked for a per diem.
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