Travel Perk for Top Tennessee Lawmakers Buried in Budget

Nashville, Tn. (AP) -- The Associated Press has found a provision buried in the state budget that lets Tennessee's top lawmakers get a special deal on travel reimbursement.

Most lawmakers bill the state for the mileage they drive between their home and the capitol. If they live at least 100 miles away, they can be reimbursed for the lowest fare commercial flight available.

But top lawmakers, like the speakers of both chambers, can get the full cost of travel reimbursed.

That means former Senate Speaker John Wilder got reimbursed for the full cost of flying his own twin-engine plane to Nashville.

Wilder got more than $13,000 for travel in 2006, more than any other lawmaker.

Current speaker Ron Ramsey said he did not know about the special provision. He says he will consider removing the perk.

(Copyright 2007 by the Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

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