Tom talks fines, takes per diem

Senate Majority Leader Rodney Tom is getting attention for his proposal to fine lawmakers and take away their daily meal money if they wind up in special session in 2014.

The leader of the Senate majority coalition suggested to the News Tribune it might help force lawmakers to get out of town on time.

As for this year, well, he didn’t mind collecting that $90-a-day check taxpayers provided him for meals, lodging and other living expenses.

Tom, a Medina resident, received $1,440 in per diem in the second special session after hauling in $1,890 in the first extra session in which the Legislature passed no bills.

He wasn’t alone in doing so. Thirty-eight of the 49 senators put in for some amount of per diem during the two special sessions.

By the end, per diem is the major reason the two extra sessions cost a combined $112,230 for the state Senate, according to figures provided by Secretary of the Senate Hunter Goodman.

Final cost figures for the House of Representatives are still getting compiled

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