Legislative Travel & Per Diem Rates

Per Diem Rate for Members of State Legislature

California law requires the Victim Compensation and Government Claims Board to establish daily living expense compensation rates (commonly known as per diem) for members of the Legislature that are not less than the rate provided to federal employees traveling to Sacramento.

The federal travel rate is set by the United States General Services Administration (GSA).  Rate changes typically coincide with each federal fiscal year, which runs from October 1st through September 30th.  Current or past rates can be found at the GSA site.

By regulation, the per diem rate for members of the Legislature automatically matches any change to the federal rate for travel to Sacramento.  California Code of Regulations Title 2, § 721 went into effect on July 20, 2009:

§ 721. Legislative Travel Expenses

(a) During those times that a Member of the Legislature is required to be in Sacramento to attend a session of the Legislature and during those times that a member is traveling to and from, or is in attendance at, any meeting of a committee of which he or she is a member or is attending to any other legislative function or responsibility as authorized or directed by the rules of the house of which he or she is a member or by the joint rules, he or she shall be entitled to reimbursement of his or her living expenses at the rate set by the United States General Services Administration for federal employees traveling to Sacramento.  The rate is set forth in Federal Travel Regulation section 301-11, and all subsequent Federal Travel Regulation Per Diem Bulletins.

(b) The reimbursement rates provided by this regulation apply to travel occurring on or after the effective date of this regulation.