"He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left."
Matthew 25:33

Sunday, February 4, 2007

Metzen and his per diem increase

As you all know, the Senate approved increasing their per diem by 45%. I thought it would be prudent to inform you that this was approved by committee only. Not by a vote of the full senate. The Committee on Rules and Administration is the guilty bunch. And guess what. Our own Jim Metzen is on this very committee. No surprise there. We could only expect as much from him. I must mention again that Senator Metzen has taken $66,630.00 in the last seven years in per diem and he claims only a 15 mile round trip from his home to the capitol. I understand that our legislators get a mileage reimbursement also.

Here are some of my correspondence with Representatives Rick Hanson (D), and Laura Brod (R)

Hello Rick,

I just read Representative Laura Brod's press release expressing her disgust with the recent increase in per diem. I believe that you could really score major points with your constituents by introducing a bill to repeal this increase. Could you tell me who was responsible for this being passed in the Senate? Are you planning on appearing on any more "Capitol Call In" shows? Are there any more planned? I do not feel that my questions were answered.That you justify taking the per diem because the pay is minimal.

I finally signed up for your email updates. A friend tells me they are very informative.

Bill Jungbauer


I thought I gave a pretty detailed response to your question during the call in show. We are working on having more cable call ins as well as some town meetings. The Rules Committee passes the per diem rules in each house of the Legislature. Glad you signed up for the email updates.
Rick Hansen
State Representative
401 State Office Building
(651) 296-6828

Dear Representative Laura Brod,

After reading your press release expressing your views on the recent increase in per diem, I became curious as to why none of you have introduced a bill to repeal it. I live in district 39 and I have been giving Metzen, Hanson, and Atkins as much misery as I can on this issue. Could you please tell me who was responsible for this being passed in the senate? If Metzen is responsible, I want to know so I may post it on my blog. http://jungbauer2010.blogspot.com/
As a fellow Republican I feel that I can trust you to help me in my goal to keep them on their toes.

Thank You,

Bill Jungbauer


Thanks for your email. The per diem/housing issue is concerning to a number of us especially since it did not even get voted on by the full House of Representatives. In regard to your comment regarding a bill to repeal... even if a bill was introduced, it would most likely not get a hearing since the Democrats control the gavels and therefore make those determinations. They obviously wanted the increase or it would never have seen the light of day in committee. Our best bet is to go the amendment route. We have a number of options in terms of which bills to try to amend and will need to be prepared in order to do so as they come forward this session. In our Government Operations Committee on which I serve, we have tried a number of times in to, at the very least, ensure that no per diem is paid during special session. We recently tried to restrict per diem and housing by trying to amend a bill authored by Diane Loeffler (D-Mpls) authorizing a continuing Resolution to "keep the lights on" if the legislature does not come to agreement before our deadlines (which House Republicans generally oppose). If you can believe it, even this amendment was defeated by the Democrats. By defeating that amendment, they seem to think that they should be paid per diem even if the job at hand is not complete.You can be assured that we will keep bringing this issue up and will keep our eyes open for opportunities to amend legislation to repeal the increase. In regard to who led the charge on the issue in the Senate, I am not able to tell you with any degree of certainty. I am also not fully aware of Metzen's role in this. I hope this information is helpful. The Democrats have made many promises and I am very concerned with some of the procedural gyration which have already occurred. We have had only two significant bills voted on the House floor and each time were told by the Democrats that if we tried to amend them, we would kill the bills. In fact, last week a bill was up on the House floor which clearly did not go through all the appropriate committees. House Republicans tried over and over to send the bill back to the appropriate committees so the concerns with the bill could be ironed out. We were denied. This all or nothing attitude that the Democrats have displayed so far is not what I believe Minnesotans were hoping for when they made their votes last Fall. Stay tuned...Thank you for taking the time to email!
Laura Brod

Representative Laura Brod, District 25A
581 State Office Building
100 Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
St. Paul, MN 55155
(651) 296-4229
fax (651) 296-4307
Greater Minnesota: (800) 341-0510


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