Stivers offers to cover $985 bill for Senate meal that would have been charged to LRC

03/25/2013 05:59 PM

Kentucky Senate President Robert Stivers announced on Monday that he plans to personally pay the $985 tab for meals for senators and staff on March 7 when the Senate session went until 11:50pm.

The Lexington Herald-Leader’s Jack Brammer first reported on the expense that initially was charged to the Legislative Research Commission. It was the first time since 2008 that taxpayers’ dollars were used to cover food costs for senators during a legislative session, Brammer reported.

All lawmakers receive a stipend of $135.50 per day to cover travel, lodging and meals during a legislative session in addition to their legislative pay.

Stivers announced Monday afternoon on the Senate floor that he would cover the costs.

“But for fulfilling my commitment to change the dynamics, I have found the appropriate titling of a check to go to the Kentucky State Treasurer for the LRC meal that night, and I will write it and make good on my commitment so that no one can say that we inappropriately spent money on this Senate floor for anyone’s meal,” Stivers said. “And I will tender to check to our clerk for $985.00.”

Stivers said that he brought the meals in to save time because the Senate was looking at a long night and would not have gotten to everything if senators had left to get dinner.

Several senators voiced support for Stivers and added that they would chip in too. They included Sen. Carroll Gibson, R-Leitchfield, who offered to split the cost with Stivers.

Stivers also received support from Democrat senators such as Sen. Kathy Stein, D-Lexington, who said, “I believe that it would be highly unfair for our president, who did make a leadership decision on behalf of all of us to undergo that expense and I’m very hopeful that each and every one of us will be able to contribute enough so that at least he would not have to make that payment.”

Senators contributed over $1,000 to help pay for the meals but Stivers said that all of the money given would be donated to a local Frankfort mission or charity.


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