Clarksville, TN – In a speech before the Montgomery County Republican Women today, Dr. Mark Green, State Senate candidate for District 22, announced that he will not accept per diem payments while serving as a State Senator if he is elected to replace incumbent State Senator Tim Barnes. Green said the $173-per-day stipend is only intended to provide overnight accommodations and meals for legislators living too far from Nashville to commute so he will not accept the payments.
“As a small business owner, I would never pay an employee a travel allowance just to stay at their home and show up at the office the next morning,” said Green, who lives just 37 miles from the State Capitol. “The taxpayers should not be on the hook for me sleeping in my own bed and eating my own food just because I’m serving in the state legislature.”
Green also sharply criticized Senator Barnes for his acceptance of $59,460 in per diem payments thus far in his tenure (1). “It is a complete violation of the trust voters place in their elected officials for Tim Barnes to claim travel expenses and demand payment just for showing up on the job,” Green stated. “Just because per diem payments are offered to all members does not make it right to accept them.”
District 22 is so close to the State Capitol that the $59,460 in per diem Senator Barnes has claimed is subject to ordinary federal income tax (2). “Even the Internal Revenue Service has ruled that Senator Barnes lives so close to the Capitol that the so-called expense payments are nothing more than additional income at the taxpayers’ expense,” Green continued.
“With some areas facing double-digit unemployment and so many hard-working taxpayers living paycheck to paycheck, it is a shame that Tim Barnes has forgotten the people he represents. Serving in office should be about making a difference in this State and not about lining your wallet on the taxpayers’ dime,” Green said. “This community deserves a State Senator who will be a good steward of their tax dollar.”
Dr. Mark Green is the Republican candidate for State Senate in District 22. No stranger to service, Dr. Green was assigned to the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment as a special operations flight surgeon after completing his residency in emergency medicine in 2002 and served in both Iraq and Afghanistan. Today, Dr. Green is the President and CEO of AlignMD, an emergency department, hospitalist and urgent care management and staffing company based in Clarksville. Dr. Green and his wife of 23 years, Camie, reside in Clarksville where they are raising two children, Mitchell and Alexa.
For more information, visit www.markgreenfortennessee.com.
State Senate Candidate Mark Green speaking to the Montgomery County Republican Women