Uneasy about raising their pay (currently just over $18,000 a year), legislators generally get by on per diem and mileage, which sometimes exceeds their pay during a typical session. House Speaker Kent Williams sent out a memo last week telling legislators to keep visits to Nashville out of session at a minimum to save money during the current budget crisis. Perhaps coincidentally, a Nashville television station (WKRN) reported total mileage and per diem payments for last session showing Williams arch-rival state Rep. Jason Mumpower topping the list at $24,730. Mumpower lives up in Northeast Tennessee and also has Nashville meetings due to his position as majority leader. Disgraced state Sen. Paul Stanley, from Shelby County, topped the Senate list at $24,194.
The Knox House delegation: Harry Brooks, $20,835; Joe Armstrong, $20,578; Bill Dunn, $18,614; Frank Niceley, $18,193; Harry Tindell, $17,763; Stacey Campfield, $16,862; Ryan Haynes, $16,603. In the Senate: Jamie Woodson, $18,589; Tim Burchett, $17,888.
One other note. State Rep. Chad Faulkner, a new member who works at the Knox County Sheriff's office and represents Union and Campbell counties, came in at a paltry $1,841. Hey, can't one of you guys show him how to fill out the forms?