Reports show expenses of legislators - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Reports show travel, personnel expenses of legislators

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Rep. Tom Rice Rep. Tom Rice
Sen. Tim Scott Sen. Tim Scott

SOUTH CAROLINA (WMBF) - Do you ever wonder how much your elected congressmen spend on bottled water, travel and other expenses?

The Sunlight Foundation is a not-for-profit organization aimed at government transparency that may be able to help answer your questions.

They just released a compilation of what US House members spent money on in the first quarter of 2013.

Representative Tom Rice from Congressional District 7 and Senator Tim Scott, who was a member of the House of Representatives before being tapped to replace Jim DeMint in the Senate, spent close to the same amount on most items listed in the summarized report:

Expenses Rep. Tom Rice (R-SC7) Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC)
Franked Mail $771.05 $38.78
Personnel Compensation $176,710.71 $108,709.35
Travel $8,246.87  

Rent, Communication,

Utilities

$16,804.30 $16,308.91
Printing and Reproduction $3,161.10  
Other Services $9,900.00 $50
Supplies and Materials $10,072.07 $432.53
Equipment $2,892.85 $1,263.57

A deeper look into the report shows that a large majority of all expenses over $3,000 that were paid from each representative's office during the first quarter of the year were for personnel compensation.

At first glance it may seem like a salary payment for Tim Scott and Tom Rice, but the itemized reports show the payments are to their Chief of Staff, District Director, Press Secretary, Staff Assistant or Field Representative, just to name a few.

Supplies and Materials expenses include the food and beverages inside the office. Sen. Tim Scott's office makes frequent payments to Deer Park Water who keeps his employees hydrated.

Those travel expenses include a subsistence for employees, taxis, lodging and occasional meals.

Other services for both offices include security systems, janitorial services and tech support. You can view the detailed reports for each legislator and office in Congress on the Sunshine Foundation's website.

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