Group files lawsuit challenging reimbursement of Arkansas legislators

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September 29, 2011

Arkansas

LITTLE ROCK, Arkansas: On Monday, a lawsuit was filed in Arkansas to challenge the reimbursement system used by state legislators.

The Arkansas Public Law Center (APLC), which filed the suit, alleges that some legislators have beeen claiming expenses with submitting proper documentation. The two legislators named in the lawsuit are state senator Ann Clemmer (R) and state representative Jerry Taylor (D).[1]

According to the lawsuit, Clemmer collected $70,500 between January 2009 and August 2011 while Taylor was reimbursed $129,633 from January 2007-August 2011. The suit requests that Clemmer and Taylor pay back any payments that was not for "legitimate and documented expenses." Meanwhile, Taylor said he had not seen the suit but did not think it was fair to single out two legislators out of 135.[2]

The APLC is asking that the reimbursements be declared unconstitutional. Michael Lauro, APLC president, said in a release that the lawsuit is "not to deprive legislators of income but to require the state to obey the constitution and pay them straightforwardly."[1]

Currently, the salary for state legislators in Arkansas is $15,869/year. The state with the highest salary for legislators is California, at $95,290.56 per year.

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