A-16509, DECEMBER 21, 1926, 6 COMP. GEN. 411

A-16509: Dec 21, 1926

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MILEAGE OF MEMBERS OF THE ALASKA LEGISLATURE FROM AND TO THEIR "HOME" BY THE NEAREST TRAVELED ROUTE IS AUTHORIZED ONLY FROM AND TO A PLACE WITHIN THE DISTRICT FROM WHICH ELECTED. WHERE TRAVEL IS ACTUALLY PERFORMED FROM AND TO A RESIDENCE OUTSIDE SAID DISTRICT. REIMBURSEMENT WOULD BE AUTHORIZED IN AN AMOUNT NOT IN EXCESS OF WHAT IT WOULD HAVE COST FOR THE DISTANCE FROM AND TO THE LAST PLACE OF RESIDENCE IN THE DIVISION FROM WHICH ELECTED. HE WAS ELECTED FOR A TERM OF FOUR YEARS. MY ONLY INTEREST IN THE MATTER AT THIS TIME IS AS TO WHETHER OR NOT THE DISBURSING OFFICER IS JUSTIFIED IN PAYING HIS EXPENSE ACCOUNT WHICH WILL INCLUDE MILEAGE FROM NOME AND RETURN. OR SHOULD WE SUSPEND THE VOUCHER AS SUBMITTED AND SEND IT TO YOUR OFFICE WILL FULL EXPLANATION OF THE FACTS AS THEY APPEAR AT THAT TIME?

A-16509, DECEMBER 21, 1926, 6 COMP. GEN. 411

MILEAGE - MEMBERS OF THE ALASKA LEGISLATURE UNDER SECTION 4 OF THE ACT OF AUGUST 24, 1912, 37 STAT. 513, MILEAGE OF MEMBERS OF THE ALASKA LEGISLATURE FROM AND TO THEIR "HOME" BY THE NEAREST TRAVELED ROUTE IS AUTHORIZED ONLY FROM AND TO A PLACE WITHIN THE DISTRICT FROM WHICH ELECTED, AND WHERE TRAVEL IS ACTUALLY PERFORMED FROM AND TO A RESIDENCE OUTSIDE SAID DISTRICT, REIMBURSEMENT WOULD BE AUTHORIZED IN AN AMOUNT NOT IN EXCESS OF WHAT IT WOULD HAVE COST FOR THE DISTANCE FROM AND TO THE LAST PLACE OF RESIDENCE IN THE DIVISION FROM WHICH ELECTED.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE GOVERNOR OF ALASKA, DECEMBER 21, 1926:

THERE HAS BEEN RECEIVED YOUR LETTER OF NOVEMBER 22, 1926, REQUESTING DECISION OF A QUESTION PRESENTED AS FOLLOWS:

ONE OF THE SENATORS FROM THE SECOND DIVISION LEFT THE TERRITORY OF ALASKA WITHIN A FEW DAYS AFTER THE CLOSE OF THE SESSION IN 1925 AND SINCE THAT TIME HE HAS NOT BEEN IN THE TERRITORY, BUT HAS LIVED IN THE STATE OF WASHINGTON. HE WAS ELECTED FOR A TERM OF FOUR YEARS, AND I AM ADVISED EXPECTS TO RETURN TO THE TERRITORY AT THE BEGINNING OF THE NEXT SESSION AND ASSUME HIS SEAT IN THE SENATE. MY ONLY INTEREST IN THE MATTER AT THIS TIME IS AS TO WHETHER OR NOT THE DISBURSING OFFICER IS JUSTIFIED IN PAYING HIS EXPENSE ACCOUNT WHICH WILL INCLUDE MILEAGE FROM NOME AND RETURN, OR SHOULD WE SUSPEND THE VOUCHER AS SUBMITTED AND SEND IT TO YOUR OFFICE WILL FULL EXPLANATION OF THE FACTS AS THEY APPEAR AT THAT TIME?

SECTION 4 OF THE ACT OF AUGUST 24, 1912, 37 STAT. 513, AUTHORIZES PAYMENT OF MILEAGE TO MEMBERS OF THE ALASKA TERRITORIAL LEGISLATURE "AT THE RATE OF FIFTEEN CENTS PER MILE FOR EACH MILE FROM HIS HOME TO THE CAPITAL AND RETURN BY THE NEAREST TRAVELED ROUTE.' THE SAME SECTION FIXES THE QUALIFICATIONS OF SENATORS, INCLUDING "SHALL HAVE BEEN A RESIDENT AND AN INHABITANT IN THE DIVISION FROM WHICH HE IS ELECTED FOR AT LEAST TWO YEARS PRIOR TO THE DATE OF HIS ELECTION.'

WHILE THE ACT DOES NOT PROHIBIT A MEMBER FROM CHANGING HIS RESIDENCE TO A PLACE OUTSIDE THE DIVISION FROM WHICH ELECTED, OR TO THE UNITED STATES, DURING HIS TERM OF OFFICE, IT IS BELIEVED THAT THE SECTION AS A WHOLE CONTEMPLATES THAT THE TERM "HOME" MUST BE CONSTRUED TO MEAN A PLACE IN THE DIVISION FROM WHICH ELECTED. MILEAGE WOULD BE AUTHORIZED FROM AND TO THE ACTUAL RESIDENCE OF A MEMBER OUTSIDE THE SAID DIVISION, IF TRAVEL IS ACTUALLY PERFORMED, NOT IN EXCESS OF THE DISTANCE FROM AND TO THE LAST PLACE OF RESIDENCE IN THE DIVISION FROM WHICH ELECTED BY THE NEAREST TRAVELED ROUTE.

ACCORDINGLY, IF THE SENATOR IN QUESTION SHOULD PRESENT A VOUCHER FOR MILEAGE FROM AND TO HIS RESIDENCE IN THE STATE OF WASHINGTON IN AN AMOUNT IN EXCESS OF THE MILEAGE FROM AND TO HIS LAST HOME IN THE SECOND DIVISION OF THE TERRITORY OF ALASKA, PAYMENT THEREON WILL NOT BE AUTHORIZED.