The Buzz: California Senate trades per diem for Fourth of July barbecue

July 8, 2013 

Legislators forgo daily pay during July 4th holiday

Fireworks and barbecue in exchange for daily expenses.

That's the tradeoff members of the California Senate made last week when the Fourth of July holiday interrupted the schedule that usually keeps their $160-a-day per diem allocation flowing.

To claim that money, legislators have to meet at least every three days.

Typically that allows them to convene on Thursday, head to their districts and be back on Monday in time to satisfy the rule.

When there's a Monday holiday, legislators will often meet briefly on Friday to make sure they're entitled to their per diem for the intervening days.

That's what happened earlier this year on the Friday before the President's Day weekend, for instance.

But that wasn't the case last week – the state Capitol was bereft of lawmakers Friday.

The Assembly is out on recess, so its members aren't getting the expense payment anyway.

But lawmakers in the upper house forfeited the expense payment from Thursday through Sunday, according to the secretary of the Senate's office.

– Jeremy B. White

GOVERNOR WATCH

Tens of thousands of people are expected to gather this week in San Francisco for the Intersolar North America conference, and attendees might get to hear the merits of solar energy extolled in Latin. Gov. Jerry Brown gives the opening ceremony's keynote address tonight at the Intercontinental Hotel. San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee will welcome the conference.

– Jeremy B. White

WORTH REPEATING

"What do you think, is this a good idea? Lawmakers to stop govt from buying American flags from China."

REP. DOUG LaMALFA, R-Richvale, tweeting about a bipartisan push in Congress to require the federal government to buy flags manufactured entirely in this country of all American-made materials

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