El Jefe, on how Bill Ketron appears to have killed the proposal to limit per diem for legislators from Nashville and the Home Counties:
He offered an amendment to make lawmakers living outside the 50-mile radius prove they are spending their per diem by handing in receipts. According to Ketron, it’s needed because some of these lawmakers are “milking the system” by sharing motel rooms and condos.
“There was a member who’s no longer here, I recall, he took the per diem and slept in his office and showered downstairs. That’s not quite fair,” Ketron said, innocently batting his eyes.
Ketron is one of the biggest beneficiaries of per diem, dipping his beak for more than $16,000 last year. In 2010, he took $21,393, more than any other state senator living close to the Capitol.
The bill seemed ready to rock ‘n’ roll out of the committee until Ketron made his proposal. Then suddenly—whoa!—everybody needed a little more time to think about things, and it was delayed for a week. We doubt we’ll see it again. For Ketron, it’s mission accomplished!