Arkansas lawmakers' expenses down, salaries up in 2017

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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - Reimbursements to Arkansas lawmakers for their mileage and other expenses declined last year, while their salaries rose above those they received two years ago.

The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports that combined salary and expense payments to lawmakers increased from $7.82 million in 2015 to $8.18 million in 2017.

State Auditor Andrea Lea's office says total per diem, mileage and other expense reimbursements dipped from $3.18 million in 2015 to $2.82 million in 2017. But the amount spent on lawmakers' salaries increased from $4.64 million in 2015 to $5.37 million in 2017.

Combined salary and expense payments totaled $7.2 million in 2011 and $6.9 million in 2013.

Lawmakers were paid a mileage rate of 53.5 cents per mile last year, a rate that increased to 54.5 cents per mile on Jan. 1.

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