Archive for Monday, November 4, 2013

Tardy legislator denied pay, granted mileage

November 4, 2013


— A legislative committee on Monday rejected paying a state senator his salary and expenses for one day because he was late to a meeting on that day.

State Sen. David Haley, a Democrat from Kansas City, sought $290.66 in legislative pay, expenses and mileage for attending a meeting of the House-Senate health policy oversight committee on Dec. 19, 2012.

But state Sen. Vicki Schmidt, R-Topeka, who was serving as chair of the health policy committee, refused to sign off on Haley's reimbursement request.

Schmidt said Haley only attended the meeting for about 5 minutes, failing to be there for at least half of the meeting, which is required by legislative policy to get reimbursed.

Haley countered he was there for about 20 minutes, but that although he failed to attend half of the meeting, the schedule of the meeting was shortened without his knowing about that in advance.

"Any member that attends a meeting, should be compensated for that day," Haley said. "I had cleared my schedule for that entire day," he said.

Haley and Schmidt appeared Monday before the House-Senate Committee on Special Claims Against the State. Haley is a member of the claims committee but later recused himself from action when the committee took up his claim.

The claims committee recommended paying for Haley's mileage but rejected his request for salary and expenses.

State Rep. Mike Houser, R-Columbus, said Haley "was in clear violation of the rules."

Senate Majority Leader Terry Bruce, R-Hutchinson, said, "He did not comply with the rule. What good is having a rule that is not complied with."

But state Rep. Bob Grant, D-Frontenac, said he feared denying Haley his pay would put the Legislature on a "slippery slope" where committee chairs could deny reimbursement for other reasons.

Houser initially wanted to deny Haley any reimbursement, but Claims Committee Chairman Sen. Dan Kerschen, R-Garden Plain, suggested paying Haley mileage since Haley did drive to the committee meeting.

Legislators are paid $88.66 per day when they are conducting legislative business. They also receive $129 daily for subsistence, which covers expenses such as lodging and meals. Legislators are paid 55 cents per mile for mileage, plus any tolls.

Committee members and legislative staff said this was the first time in recent memory that a legislator was denied pay by the committee for being late to a meeting. The committee's action must be approved by the full Legislature before it can become final.


Brock Masters 4 years, 7 months ago

Any proof to back up your allegation?

Maybe it has everything to do with him being chronically late and nothing to do with his party affiliation.

Brock Masters 4 years, 7 months ago

I made no allegation. I asked a question/posed an alternative. Nice try to deflect from your unfounded and hateful allegation :)

Jake Esau 4 years, 7 months ago

If he cleared his schedule for the entire day, why was he not there on time?

Michael LoBurgio 4 years, 7 months ago

They must have forgot to deny pay to these Kansas senators when they missed this vote.

Corrections budget cuts put spotlight on King's absence Democrats accuse Senate VP of sidestepping potentially damaging vote; King says assertion incorrect

"On the last bill of the session, when the vote was gridlocked at 20 to 16, it was hard to believe that a key member of Senate Republican leadership would go missing," Hensley said. "I’ve never seen anyone in Senate leadership avoid casting a vote on the budget, especially when that vote was needed to pass the budget and adjourn the session."

With the Senate hung up with 20 votes in favor — one short of the required margin — King's location took center stage. A call of the Senate was invoked, locking members in the chamber. Three other Republican senators — Les Donovan, of Wichita, Mitch Holmes, of St. John, and Jay Emler, of Lindsborg — were determined to be unavailable. Donovan was on vacation, while Holmes and Emler were apparently outside of Kansas.

Michael LoBurgio 4 years, 7 months ago

Kansas lawmakers MIA during 2013 OT session

In all, 44 Kansas lawmakers have missed at least one day of the 2013 overtime session. While 27 officials have missed only one day since May 24, a total of 17 have skipped out on two or more days.

But five officials – two senators and three representatives – comprise a group that has missed-out on more than HALF of the overtime days put in by the state legislature. Sen. David Haley and Reps. Ross Jennings and Shanti Gandhi have been absent for three of the last four overtime days, while Sen. Les Donovan and Rep. Marvin Kleeb have checked out entirely.

Ross, Jennings and Gandhi did not return calls for comment from Kansas Watchdog.

Donovan made it clear last week that he would be leaving for vacation at the end of the 90 day session, regardless of whether or not things were wrapped up.

“Sorry, folks. I planned this a year ago,” Donovan said May 23.

Diana Lee 4 years, 7 months ago

How sad that I already knew who this was about before I even clicked on the article.

John Graham 4 years, 7 months ago

Whether the meeting was shortened or not really shouldn't matter. If the start time was moved up and he was not informed then he would have an argument. If he had cleared his entire day as he states, why was he not on time if not early for the meeting? The rule is in place it should be applied to any and all offenders. We are paying for them to represent us. The least they can do is show up on time.

Seth Peterson 4 years, 7 months ago

Senate Majority Leader Terry Bruce, R-Hutchinson, said, "He did not comply with the rule. What good is having a rule that is not complied with."

Ask Kobach, Brownback, and others in the administration. They tend to ignore rules on whims which actually affect the rights of individuals in this state.

Out of curiosity, since Kobach spends less than half of his time working on state matters can we revoke his pay?

Brock Masters 4 years, 7 months ago

How do you know how much time Kobach spends working on state matters?

Please try to use facts to bolster your argument and don't just make stuff up. If I am wrong then cite a legitimate source. If I am not wrong then just try to do better next time.

Seth Peterson 4 years, 7 months ago

I suppose I could spend a little time to put together a copy of his public schedule and show how his time has been spent. Although, it would be easier to use the Birther argument.

Kris Kobach has yet to publicly provide his calendar and schedule to the people, even following the Open Records Request earlier this year. Obviously his refusal to provide such documentation in full and as requested is evidence he has spent limited time on his efforts (certainly not fulfilling his duties) in his current role for the State of Kansas.

Richard Heckler 4 years, 7 months ago

How about IF we press for an investigation that Kobach may in fact be a source of voter fraud activity in his never ending quest to purge democrats from the voting rolls? I speculate this is his primary objective.

If brought before a court and found guilty Mr Kobach should owe the state plenty in paid salaries for his misuse of a public office.

Thank you for this opportunity.

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