State House members reimbursed more than $27,000 for last month’s special session


Lawmakers in the state House got a combined $17,903 in meal and lodging reimbursements and about $9,900 in vehicle mileage reimbursements for attending the Nov. 7-9 special session in Olympia. Lawmakers were called into the session to approve a tax break and other incentives for the aerospace industry.

November’s was the third special legislative session this year. State lawmakers, most of whom earn $42,106 a year, don’t receive an additional salary for special sessions. However, the reimbursements they get have received media attention in recent years, demonstrating the expense associated with a special session. House staff notes that per diems and mileage reimbursements for the special session were paid from existing House administration money.

Legislators are allowed to receive up to $90 a day for per diems, which cover their food and lodging expenses while on official business. Here’s how much House members representing Clark County charged in per diems and mileage for the November special session:

  • Rep. Richard DeBolt, R-Chehalis: $0
  • Rep. Paul Harris, R-Vancouver: $270 in per diems, $124.30 for vehicle mileage
  • Rep. Norm Johnson, R-Yakima: $270 in per diems, $207.36 in mileage
  • Rep. Jim Moeller, D-Vancouver: $270 in per diems, no mileage charged
  • Rep. Ed Orcutt, R-Kalama: $270 in per diems, $87.01 in mileage
  • Rep. Liz Pike, R-Camas: $270 in per diems, $67.24 in mileage
  • Rep. Charles Ross, R-Naches: $0
  • Rep. Monica Stonier, D-Vancouver: $0
  • Rep. Brandon Vick, R-Vancouver: $270 in per diems, $118.65 in mileage
  • Rep. Sharon Wylie, D-Vancouver: $270 in per diems, $119.78 in mileage

As the Political Beat reported in November, state Senators accepted a combined $8,460 in per diems for the same special session. Legislative reimbursement records were made public by each body at different times.

Prior to the special session, Boeing Co. told lawmakers they would commit to manufacturing their 777X planes in Washington state if they received certain state incentives, and if Boeing machinists approved a long-term contract that made changes to the retirement plans of new hires and increased workers’ health care costs.

Lawmakers approved a tax break for the aerospace industry, but machinists later voted against that contract. Boeing is now considering relocation offers from other states.

Stevie Mathieu

Stevie Mathieu

Stevie Mathieu is a political writer at The Columbian. Contact her at 360-735-4523 or or or

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