House Republicans leaders frustrated taxpayers paying for redistriciting legal bills

06/13/2012 04:07 PM

House Republicans leaders blocked a Legislative Research Commission meeting Wednesday as a protest over the taxpayers picking up the tab for legal bills in the challenge this spring to legislative redistricting maps.

The legislative branch paid $45,000 in lawyer fees to defend the maps and taxpayers also paid $57,500 for attorneys representing the the board of elections and Secretary of State Alison Grimes in the case, as Pure Politics first reported Tuesday .

House Republicans, who brought the suit, were upset about taxpayers footing the bill and voted not to proceed with a perfunctory meeting of legislative leaders at the Legislative Research Commission.

House Minority Whip Danny Ford told reporters after the abbreviated meeting that he doesn’t feel taxpayers should not have pay for the lawyer, Sheryl Snyder, who defended the maps on behalf of the majorities in both chambers.

“It is nothing against Mr. Snyder he was only doing his job, but we felt like it was an unconstitutional effort to begin with and felt like the LRC shouldn’t have taken any action to go ahead and pay that,” Rep. Ford said.

Democratic House Speaker Greg Stumbo said LRC attorneys who represented the House Democrats would be paid for the work that they do. He said the attorneys hired by the House Republicans shouldn’t be paid by Legislative Research Commission.

“I don’t think they’ll approve payment for the attorneys Representative Hoover hired, if you’ll recall Representative Hoover has made public statements that he intended to pay their bills or see that their bills were paid themselves.”

Stumbo told reporters he thinks that redistricting will be attempted again in the 2013 session.


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