East Idaho Lawmaker Staying Tight-Lipped About Accomodations During Legislative Session

Apr 4, 2017

Idaho Falls Representative Janet Trujillo is facing scrutiny for not disclosing where she lived during the legislative session or if she paid rent. Trujillo, who's married to fellow lawmaker Mike Moyle of Star, collected a stipend to cover maintaining a residence in Boise even though her husband lives near the capital.
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State Representative Janet Trujillo of Idaho Falls is married to House Majority leader Mike Moyle of Star. Hailing from the eastern part of the state, Trujillo is facing scrutiny for collecting thousands of dollars meant to offset the cost of maintaining a residence in Boise –  despite the fact her husband's home is less than 20 miles from the Statehouse.

Janet Trujillo collected $129 per day to cover the expense of a place to stay in Boise for the legislative session. That’s the amount paid to lawmakers from distant parts of the state; Ada County legislators also get a daily stipend, but, at $49, theirs is dramatically less.

An investigation by the Idaho Falls Post Register found by taking the higher payment over the course of the 80 day legislative session, Trujillo got $6,400 more than if she had taken the Ada County rate.

On Monday, Trujillo said she lived in Idaho Falls and represented constituents there. She did not say where she resided during the legislative session or if she was paying rent.

A member of the Citizens' Committee On Legislative Compensation – the group that sets lawmakers' stipends – said if Trujillo was living with her husband Moyle in Star, it would violate the intent, if not the letter of compensation rules.

This isn't the first time lawmakers have been accused of taking advantage of the out-of-towner per diem. In 2011, two lawmakers – one from Nampa and one from Caldwell – were found to be collecting the higher amount. At the time, Moyle said it didn't look good and said he would advise against the practice.

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