Bill to freeze Tenn. lawmaker expenses delayed

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- A proposal to freeze Tennessee lawmakers' expense reimbursements rates has been delayed in the state Senate amid concerns about rising gas prices.

The bill sponsored by Senate Democratic Caucus Chairman Lowe Finney of Jackson would make lawmakers forgo future increases in their daily expense allowance and their mileage reimbursements.

Republican Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris of Collierville noted that freezing the federal mileage reimbursements would leave lawmakers on the hook for making up the difference amid rapidly escalating gas prices.

A legislative analysis projects that state's 132 lawmakers' travels between their homes and the Capitol this year will total 1.24 million miles -- the equivalent of going around the equator 50 times.

Lawmakers receive a daily allowance of $173 regardless of their actual costs for meals and lodging.

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