Senator Wants Penalties for ‘Overtime’ Legislative Sessions
Senator Rodney Tom (D) of Medina says he will introduce a bill next year to would penalize legislators $250 every day they go past the regular legislative session. Tom is one of two Democrats who last year joined with 23 GOP state senate members to create what has been called "The Coalition" in Olympia.
It was these senators who were able to help defeat the extension of the controversial Business and Occupation Tax, as well as numerous other taxes removed from the just-passed state budget.
Tom also wants the bill to stop the $90-a-day per diem legislators get to offset expenses while they are in session. In odd-numbered years, the state constitution allows for a 105-day session; 60 in even-numbered years. This year's two special sessions lasted a total of 137 and the state came the closest in history to at least a partial government shutdown.
Tom believes the penalties would add extra incentive for legislators to get things properly taken care of in Olympia.