Gov. Mark Gordon on Friday vetoed his first bill, a measure designed to increase the amount legislators are reimbursed for expenses while taking part in legislative work from $109 to $149 per day.
Gordon, in his veto letter to House Speaker Steve Harshman, R-Casper, said while he believes the bill is well-intentioned, it is flawed.
Gordon said the bill would actually reduce the expense reimbursement or “per diem” for legislators living within 25 miles of the Capitol during legislative sessions.
“While the apparent intent of the bill seeks to admit that those living proximate to the State Capitol building most likely do not have to absorb the additional costs of temporary accommodation because they can stay in their homes, the bill does not recognize that other legislators might also be able to avoid those same additional costs by staying with friends or family, for example,” he wrote.
The governor praised legislators for taking the issue up during their general session.
“I want to recognize the Legislature’s diligence in scrutinizing its expenses and providing for a reasonable recognition of the changing costs associated with serving in the Legislature,” he wrote.
If legislators want to reverse the governor’s veto, each chamber must vote for an “override” motion by a two-thirds majority.