Frequently Asked Questions
The following questions are some of the most frequently asked of Member Services.
When are food and beverage expenses reimbursable?
You may be reimbursed for any food and beverage expenses, except for alcohol, when the food and beverage is incidental to, and not the sole reason for, the meeting. The meeting must include at least one other person other than Members and staff. Additionally, the primary purpose of the event or meeting may not be social in nature (i.e., hospitality, receptions, celebrations, etc.).
Can I travel to an official meeting if it takes place outside of the Member's district?
Yes. A Member may authorize or designate travel anywhere within the United States, as long as the Member is willing to define and defend the purpose of the travel as relating to the Member's official and representational duties to the district.
Can the Member pay for the travel of a speaker at a Town Hall Meeting?
No. The MRA may only be used to pay for travel and travel related expenses of Members, Clerk-Hire staff, and specified equipment vendors. No other travel or travel related expenses are reimbursable. The Committee suggests the option of using a Member or staffer's frequent flier mileage awards for this un-reimbursable expense.
Can a Member invite another Member of the House or Senate to participate in a Town Hall Meeting and pay for the visiting Member's travel expenses?
Yes. Members may invite other Members to participate as a guest at their Town Hall Meetings. All costs, including the guest Member's travel, may be paid by the host Member's official funds. However, the host Member may not pay for staff travel expenses of the visiting Member.
Can I pay for my staff in the district to receive computer training or other educational training?
Yes. Staff or the Member may attend conferences, seminars, briefings, professional training, and informational training, as long as the training relates to the official and representational duties to the district, is not for professional certification or licensing, and is not used to obtain an educational degree.