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Media Weather: Cashing in

It pays to be a legislator -- literally. State Sen. Edward Vincent and Assemblywoman Nell Soto have missed a combined six months of the 2007 legislative session, yet the two have collected more than $35,000 in per-diem pay between them while they were gone, reports The Sacramento Bee. The two have collected the $162 per day allowance despite the fact they were house-bound hundreds of miles from the Capitol.

The Los Angeles Times reports efforts are ongoing to protect unwary students from diploma mills. Legislation enacted 20 years ago to protect students expired July 1.

And the Sacramento Bee reports on a push to raise fees on motorists, farmers and boaters to the tune of $130 million annually to fund alternative-fuel research. The Assembly has passed the measure, but not everybody is on board.