Skip to comments.CA Lawmakers' vehicle accident claims are above national average
Posted on 04/14/2011 1:10:55 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
Sen. Doug LaMalfa billed the state $1,317.12 for hitting a raccoon with his state-issued car.
Former Assemblywoman Mary Salas drove her state car into a post on one trip, into a concrete guardrail on another and later ran a red light, hitting a vehicle. Her four claims cost nearly $28,000.
Assemblyman Cameron Smyth and Sen. Mimi Walters, meanwhile, each filed claims for hitting their personal vehicles with their state-issued cars.
With approval ratings hovering in the teens, California lawmakers are often criticized for failing to solve the state's problems.
..A Bee review of vehicle claims paid on lawmakers' state-issued cars shows they filed 122 claims over the past five years roughly one for every four vehicles each year, costing taxpayers more than $768,000.
Of 122 claims lawmakers filed from 2006 through 2010, 59 involved what the insurance industry would consider collisions. For a fleet that ranged between 103 and 111 vehicles, that's about 11 collision claims each year per 100 vehicles.
The national average for collision claims in 2008-10 was 7.5 per 100 passenger cars each year and 6.1 per 100 SUVs each year, according to Kim Hazelbaker, senior vice president at the Highway Loss Data Institute, an insurance industry data center.
The lawmakers' claim data were first sought by the California Citizens Compensation Commission, which this week convenes its annual meeting to consider state officials' pay and benefits.
The panel cut legislative pay by 18 percent in 2009. This year, the chairman is focused on axing the only-in-California perk that provides lawmakers a car, gas and maintenance paid largely by taxpayers.
Legislative administrators contend that even with the cost of insurance, accidents and other damage claims, the current system is cheaper for taxpayers than paying lawmakers a per-mile amount to use their personal vehicles for state business.
(Excerpt) Read more at sacbee.com ...
LaMalfa had to pay the raccoonnookkeeper.
Bullhockey. The legitimate "state business" in which state legislators are engaged occurs in the State Capitol. Period. All the "constituent service" and "listening" and "town meeting" stuff is campaiging. They can use their personal cars like everyone else to get themselves to work in the morning, and their campaigns can pay for a campaignmobile to shuttle around the district. Same for congresscritters.
Take away the transportation allowance entirely.
I will never forget one morning, stuck in typical interstate traffic, of a lone driver in a state car making the commute through the congestion. In a Suburban.