Constituent service allowance.
According to W.S. 28-5-106, legislators are entitled to receive a constituent service allowance of $750 per calendar quarter, resulting in a maximum annual allowance of $3,000 per year.
This bill would allow legislators to carry over unused amounts of their quarterly constituent service allowance to subsequent quarters within the same calendar year, as long as the total amount paid in the calendar year does not exceed $3,000. This annual amount shall otherwise be subject to the same conditions and restrictions as the quarterly allowance.
Data from actual claims for the constituent service allowance during the 2007-08 biennium was analyzed in order to arrive at an estimated impact. The total cost of the constituent service allowance during the 2007-08 biennium (from July 2006 through June 2008) was $294,900. If this bill would have been in effect for the 2007-08 biennium, the amount of unused constituent service allowance that could have been carried over to subsequent quarters during the 2007-08 biennium is estimated at $30,171. Since the average constituent service allowance claimed during the 2007-08 biennium was $1,638 per year (roughly 55% of the maximum), the amount of unused constituent service allowance that would have been carried over and claimed in subsequent quarters is assumed to be less than the $30,171 estimate.
Of the amounts appropriated for the constituent service allowance during the 2007-08 biennium, a total of $31,953 was unexpended and carried over to the 2009-10 biennium. $250,000 was appropriated for the constituent service allowance during the 2009-10 biennium (2008 Session Laws, Ch. 47). Since inception, the Constituent Service Allowance Account has earned interest income of $66,900. Therefore, the total funds available for the constituent service allowance for the 2009-10 biennium is $348,853. Based on the above analysis, it is projected that this amount would be sufficient to cover the constituent service allowance claims for the 2009-10 biennium, including those claims that would result from passage of this bill.
Prepared by: Dean Temte, LSO Phone: 777-7881