Pursuant to Article V, Section 6, of the Constitution of Virginia, I veto Senate Bill 629, which would increase the allowable daily and maximum annual per diem for members of sanitation district commissions.
Virginia law limits the allowable per diem for these commissions to $10 per day and no more than $300 per year. Senate Bill 629 proposed removing the daily cap and increasing the annual per diem limit to $1,500 per year, a five hundred percent increase. This large increase in commission expenses is contrary to Virginia's recent efforts to reduce the number, size and costs associated with boards and commissions. My administration eliminated per diem for executive boards and commissions to help reduce the costs associated with them. Further, the per diem provided to members is in addition to the cost of expenses related to the commission.
After reviewing Senate Bill 629, I recommended an amendment to restore the $300 annual limit for per diem. This would have allowed commissions the additional flexibility of providing a per diem above the current $10 per day up to a maximum of $300 per year for a commission member, plus expenses. Unfortunately, the General Assembly did not take up the amendment for consideration and the bill was returned to me in its original form. This large increase in the allowable annual per diem is unacceptable when we should be reducing the costs of boards and commissions, and when those in the private sector are struggling in a difficult economic environment.
Accordingly, I veto this bill.
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