Political Beat

Rep. Pike leads her Clark County colleagues in missed legislative votes this year

During her first legislative session, Rep. Liz Pike, R-Camas, missed 41 floor votes out of 694. Her missed votes were caused by a death in the family and a sinus infection, Pike said.

When it comes to missed votes in the Legislature this year, Pike tops the list of state lawmakers from Clark County. That’s according to WashingtonVotes.org, which compiles an annual report on the subject.

“I had hoped to have a perfect attendance record this year but unfortunately life and death got in the way,” Pike told the nonpartisan organization.

Pike, elected to the House in 2012, missed some legislative time when she flew to Southern California to attend her brother-in-law’s memorial service. She also missed time when she came down with a sinus infection and then had an allergic reaction to antibiotics prescribed to treat that infection.

“During this illness I missed three days of session but remained in touch with the minority leader in the House,” Pike said. “To make matters worse, when I returned to session, I discovered I was allergic to the antibiotics and had to be rushed by campus security to an Olympia hospital.”

Meanwhile, state Sen. Don Benton is stepping up his game and voting much more often than he has in the past. This year, the Vancouver Republican missed just two out of the 619 votes taken on the Senate floor. He had a fairly good record last year, too, when he missed just seven of 423 floor votes.

Compare that to 2011, when Benton missed 79 of 648 floor votes. In 2010, he missed 56 of 541 floor votes; in 2009, he missed 157 of 847 floor votes. In 2008, he only missed 11 of 549 floor votes.

The number of votes Benton has missed in previous sessions became a major criticism lobbed at him last year during his campaign for re-election. Benton said he missed those votes because he was busy conducting other senatorial business, such as talking with constituents.

Here’s a run-down of how other many votes were missed by legislators from Clark County:

The WashingtonVotes.org report also notes that legislators introduced 2,942 bills this year and 389 of those bills passed out of the Legislature. The group’s tallies include the 105-day regular session and the two special sessions that followed.

Fifty-three legislators didn’t miss any votes this year, while 10 legislators missed more than 50.

For those Clark County residents now a part of the 20th or 14th Districts, here’s how many votes your legislators missed:

Stevie Mathieu

Stevie Mathieu is a political writer at The Columbian. Contact her at 360-735-4523 or stevie.mathieu@columbian.com or www.facebook.com/reportermathieu or www.twitter.com/col_politics.

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