The State of California Senate and Assembly has cut its vehicle budget in half by reimbursing legislators for mileage instead of providing vehicles, reports the Sacramento Bee. At the time, the California Legislature spent nearly $1.4 million on vehicle leasing, maintenance, and fuel. In the 2015-2016 session, the agency spent about $750,000 on mileage reimbursement.
In the past, state legislators were provided two state-leased vehicles: one for use in Sacramento, and one for use in their district, reports the Los Angeles Times. The California Citizens Compensation Commission voted to get rid of the existing automobile policy in April of 2011, which covered allowance, insurance, repairs, gas, and oil on a leased vehicle.
Other factors to the cost reduction include a rise in social media that has allowed legislators to reach their constituents with less travel, according to the Sacramento Bee. Several members of the Legislature told the newspaper that noting mileage for reimbursement made them more conscious of their travel. However, nine members accounted for 47% of reimbursements, mostly from traveling across the state to their districts.
In an effort to further reduce vehicle expenses, a California senator has introduced a bill that would create a free bike share program for state employees, reports the Streets Blog. The program already exists in Sacramento, but the bill would expand its reach throughout the state.