Parker rejects housing reimbursement during special session
Rep. Kevin Parker, R-Spokane, notified the House of Representatives yesterday he will not accept reimbursement for meals and lodging while in Olympia for the special session.
“I cannot in good conscience accept reimbursement for a special session the taxpayers did not ask for,” Parker said. “Washington has a citizen Legislature, and though not all of its members have second jobs, I am fortunate to have another job to support myself and my family. I won’t ask the people to pay more for my expenses to be here in Olympia.”
The special session, costs taxpayers approximately $18,000 each day. For every three days the Legislature is in special session, the amount is equivalent to a teacher’s annual salary. If the Legislature is in special session for seven days as the governor has stated, the money spent could pay for 18 to 25 state need grants at four-year universities, or 47 grants at community colleges throughout the state.
“I would rather those funds be directed to saving a teacher’s job or helping dozens of young people achieve their dream of going to college,” Parker said.
Last year, the 6th District lawmaker asked the Washington Citizens’ Commission on Salaries for Elected Officials to reject a pay increase for himself and other colleagues in the Legislature. The commission decided to not increase salaries for statewide elected officials.
“The Legislature has to be the first to set the example and give up pay raises, as many folks in the private sector have not only taken pay cuts, but lost their income altogether,” Parker said. “I only hope we can conclude this special session quickly to have as minimal cost to hardworking families and employers as possible.”
The 2010 special session, which convened March 15, could last up to 30 days.
Contact: Sarah Lamb, public information officer, (360) 786-7720
###Washington State House Republican Communications