By Sen. Bert Stedman
September 12, 2011
Quite simply, racking up exorbitant costs while traveling on state business is not how I operate. The cost of legislative travel is guided by federal per diem rates posted for each city to prevent excesses. Once I realized there had been a mistake, I immediately instructed my staff to contact the hotel management to determine how this happened before accepting any reimbursement from the state.
The news media always reviews expense reports for legislators traveling on state business and I knew that questions would be forthcoming. However, it was going to take some time for my office to work out the details between the accounting office, the conference sponsors and the hotel. We were finally able to reach a resolution on August 31st but by then the media had already reported the excess cost. It was never my intent to pass on the additional cost to the state that I was responsible for. I have requested and received reimbursement at the rate of $160 per night which is below the federal per diem rate of $177.
While jumping to conclusions without waiting for all the facts might make a sensational story, it’s not always accurate. The news runs on a 24 hour cycle but it takes longer than that for our internal accounting process to remedy mistakes. I appreciate the opportunity to report on the conclusion of the review of this matter.
Sen. Bert Stedman
Received September 09, 2011 - Published September 12, 2011
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