Savings from change in meal policy hard to measure - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Savings from change in meal policy hard to measure

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DES MOINES (AP) -- Iowa lawmakers this year changed the way they reimburse state employees for meals, but it isn't yet clear whether the change has saved any money.

Starting July 1, state employees who travel for work have to submit receipts for their meals. In the past, employees got set amounts for each meal, regardless of how much they actually spent.

Last year, the state paid almost $4.8 million in meal reimbursements.

Iowa has cut those reimbursements by almost 49 percent for the quarter that started July 1.

But there's a catch -- Gov. Chet Culver has cut travel as well, and officials say that reduction probably accounts for the meal cost cuts.

And in some departments, more employees are now needed to process all those travel receipts.

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