The special legislative session’s price tag

If lawmakers don’t agree on a budget by the end of this month, the state will start to shutdown.

State parks would close, kicking campers out. Community corrections officers would not keep tabs on sex offenders. And more than 25,000 state workers would receive temporary furlough notices.

But it appears lawmakers could continue to get paid if they chose to accept their per diem. The governor, too, could continue to accept a salary.

Lawmakers are in the midst of a second special legislative session.

During the first 30-day special session that ended last month, legislators collected $90,000 in daily stipends, according to the News Tribune. They requested another $18,000 in mileage. Lawmakers are eligible for a daily $120 stipend when they are in session, which is meant to help with lodging and food.

Some lawmakers don’t accept any per diem when in special session; Rep. Lynda Wilson, R-Vancouver, and Sen. Annette Cleveland, D-Vancouver, have both previously told The Columbian they wouldn’t accept per diem during special legislative sessions.

During the first special legislative session, the News Tribune reported Rep. Jim Moeller, D-Vancouver, who is in a leadership position and often in Olympia, collected $1,800. Paul Harris, R-Vancouver, who is also in leadership put in for $960.

Sen. Don Benton, R-Vancouver, collected $120; Rep. Liz Pike, R-Camas, $120, Rep. Sharon Wylie, D-Vancouver, $360 and Rep. Brandon Vick, R-Felida, $480.

The current special legislative session is expected to end June 27 with an even higher tab.

Lauren Dake

Lauren Dake

Lauren Dake covers politics for The Columbian. You can reach her at 360-735-4534 or Follow her on Twitter .

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