California Assembly Members Get One Sweet Perk

Frank Williams
by Frank Williams

The San Jose Mercury News reports that California State Assembly members are given up to $500 per month to lease the car of their choice, plus all the gas they can guzzle, unlimited maintenance and free insurance coverage. The really sweet part of the deal: the state covers any damage to the vehicle (and other liabilities) no matter who is behind the wheel. The state paid over $2K to fix a state-funded car being driven to school by an assemblywoman's teen-aged daughter who rear-ended a truck. Even accidents caused while violating traffic codes are covered. When an assemblyman failed to yield and drove his Tahoe into an intersection while talking on his cell phone, the state shelled out almost $12K to cover the damages. The California Senate has different rules– its members are personally liable for damages to their state-owned vehicles if they're being used for personal business or driven by family members.

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  • Shaker Shaker on Jul 26, 2007

    What kind of car is that in the photo? Without a grille, it's unrecognizable!

  • Frank Williams Frank Williams on Jul 26, 2007

    Full caption to the photo, as it appears on the referenced site:

    Damage to the front end of the state-issued 2007 Toyota Highlander Hybrid sport utility vehicle driven by State Sen. Carole Migden, D-San Francisco, is seen parked at the Capitol in Sacramento, Calif., Wednesday, May 23, 2007. Migden was driving eastbound on Interstate 80, in Fairfield, Calif., when her vehicle bounced off the concrete median and nearly ran other motorists off the road, before slamming into the back of another vehicle, Friday. The rear-end collision injured a woman and her 3-year-old daughter who were sent to the emergency room. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)

  • Squid Squid on Jul 26, 2007

    Migden was previously a supporter of a hang up and drive law.

  • TomAnderson TomAnderson on Jul 28, 2007

    There need to be way more of these stories both in the papers and on TV, getting as many voters/taxpayers outraged as possible. It's the only way to get the crooks who represent us to either clean up their act or get booted from office. As 50merc said, I hope the SJMN does follow-up pieces.