Vehicle Perk Ends for California Lawmakers

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) – California lawmakers are giving up a perk that had been unique among state legislators nationwide – taxpayer-subsidized vehicles. The program ended Thursday after the state’s citizens compensation commission voted last spring to do away with the benefit. Lawmakers will now seek reimbursement for the actual number of miles they drive on official business, at a rate of 55 cents a mile. The decision was prompted by California’s ongoing budget deficits and a series of stories by The Associated Press and other media. The National Conference of State Legislatures says California is the only state that provided vehicles to its rank-and-file lawmakers for unlimited use. The AP reported last year that lawmakers have used the perk to purchase vehicles that included a $55,000 Cadillac sedan and a $52,000 Lexus hybrid.

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