The Pennsylvania state legislature is enacting cutbacks in members’ perks after a legislative pay raise sparked taxpayer revolt and was repealed last summer, according to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
. While the Senate recently decided to eliminate taxpayer-financed car leases through private dealerships, the House is slower to decide which benefits to curtail, if any.As of Aug. 1, senators no longer will be able to lease cars for up to $600 a month through private dealers. Instead, members will continue to receive a less expensive state fleet car, or collect 44.5 cents a mile for driving their vehicles. It will put an end in that chamber to taxpayer-financed leases for high-end vehicles such as Cadillacs and Lexuses. Ten of 50 senators leased through private dealers; another 10 receive fleet cars through the Department of General Services, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
reports.Figures released by the House show 135 of 203 House members lease cars at taxpayers' expense. Of those leasing a vehicle, 29 do so through private dealers, while 106 lease through a lower-cost fleet leasing program offered by the state. The House allows members to charge up to $650 a month for a lease through a private dealer. House members leasing through private dealers may collect 22 cents a mile. House members leasing a fleet car are reimbursed for operating expenses rather than mileage. The fleet cars available through the state Department of General Services program range from a Dodge Stratus sedan at $245 a month to a Chevrolet Uplander van at $457 a month, an agency spokesman said.