But, damn, it's still a little shocking to see someone just out and out say that the per diem is a way for legislators to get the money they think they're entitled to without having to be accountable about it to voters.
"It's a supplement to the annual salary that legislators are paid," Ketron told the Murfreesboro Post. "Several years ago, before I got here, no one was willing to bring forward a bill to increase legislator's pay."
Ketron said legislators are all paid a roughly $18,000 annual salary and use the per diem to make up what they are really worth.
Update: Ketron's Democratic opponent, Debbie Matthews, castigates the senator.
“I’m deeply disappointed that Senator Ketron will not join my pledge against unnecessary per diem expenses although I’m not surprised,” said Matthews. “Any other state employee that took money for hotels they didn’t use would be fired. While working families are losing their jobs, Senator Ketron would rather abuse the system for his own personal gain.”