Topeka As budget negotiations between the House and Senate stalled, a Senate committee on Monday recommended approval of a bill that would stop pay to legislators after Thursday.
Thursday is the last day of the 90-days scheduled for the 2011 session. If legislators go into overtime, they wouldn't be paid for work or receive their expenses after the 90th day, under the proposal.
"If we are still here, we will be working for free," said state Sen. Carolyn McGinn, R-Sedgwick, and chair of Ways and Means Committee.
Legislators make $88.66 per day during the session and $123 per day for expenses. Legislative leaders make more.
House Speaker Mike O'Neal, R-Hutchinson, said the proposal was "window dressing" because it couldn't be implemented in time. O'Neal said if the Legislature goes beyond Thursday, he would urge legislators to voluntarily give up their pay.
But during the Ways and Means Committee meeting, legislative staff members said the legislative administration department could hold paychecks if it appeared the bill was going to become law.
McGinn, the lead budget negotiator for the Senate, expressed frustration earlier with House budget negotiators at a short meeting.
House Republican leaders want more budget cuts to produce a larger ending balance in the budget.
"The ending balance is important to us," said state Rep. Marc Rhoades, R-Newton, who is chair of the House Appropriations Committee.
But senators have rejected some of those proposed House cuts.
The two sides were scheduled to meet later in the day.
Meanwhile, Ways and Means approved another budget plan that includes some of the areas of agreement between the House and Senate.
McGinn said the bill could be used as an alternative if the House-Senate conference committee makes no progress.
"I think this is a plan we all can go home with, knowing we made significant spending cuts without jeopardizing our state's long-term economic recovery,"McGinn said.