Assembly Approves New Rules For Floor Debate, Considers Increasing Stipends For Lawmakers

Per Diem Rates Cover Costs Of Staying In Madison Overnight For Out-Of-Town Lawmakers

The Assembly chambers in the state Capitol. Photo: John Benson (CC-BY).

Assembly Republicans have approved new rules that put time limits on debate, and they might soon approve an increase in what representatives get paid when they stay overnight in Madison.

The rule that passed on a party line vote effectively codifies an informal deal reached last session between leaders from both parties in the Assembly. It will require the Majority and Minority Leaders to agree to time limits to discuss bills on the Assembly floor. Republicans removed a provision that could have allowed them to cut off debate after just 30 minutes.

Speaker Robin Vos also told reporters that the Assembly planned to increase the per diem for out-of-town lawmakers who stay overnight in Madison.

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“This will all be managed entirely from the Assembly’s current appropriation, said Vos. No additional taxpayer dollars. It’s just going to reflect the actual costs of being a legislator.”

Out-of-town lawmakers currently receive a per diem of $88 a day. Vos’s plan would increase that to about $138.