California Lawmakers Collect Thousands on Top of Salary While Absent

SACRAMENTO (AP) — A review by The Associated Press found that California lawmakers took a total of 325 days off this legislative session to stay home sick and for other reasons unrelated to their jobs, but chose to receive $56,042 collectively in taxpayer-funded living expenses.

In addition to their six-figure salaries and benefits, California’s 120 lawmakers are compensated for their cost of living and meals when they leave home and travel to Sacramento to write and pass bills.

Unlike many states, however, California has enacted loosely worded rules that allow lawmakers to collect those payments regardless of whether they even show up to work.

It’s a perk unlike anything typically available to workers in the private sector, allowing lawmakers to take unlimited time off and continue collecting a tax-free, daily allowance of $176.