As You may know the house had a dust up over returning today (Saturday) or Tuesday next week. "Who cares?. What is the big deal?" You may ask. Well, it matters and there was a big dust up for a reason.
Members of both houses were told last week to come prepared to work through the weekend. The senate stuck to the plan. The house did not. That hurt the senators but helped the house members and will end up costing the state more money.
You see, last night when we were getting ready to call it a night, the senate had already called it a night and went home. They were scheduled to return in the morning (Saturday) with us to finish the mop up work and call it a session until 2011.
When the house did not return in the morning as expected it threw the entire plan into A whirl.
First, it caused a lot of senators to stay an extra day for nothing. With out the house they could not finish their work even if they wanted to. Some things, both bodies have to be present for (Conference committees and such) When the house doesn't show it is like trying to clap with one hand. It does not work. Senators paid for an extra night at a hotel for nothing (They are out of session days to collect per diem) and when they return it will be completely on their own dime as well. Hotel and gas.
The house on the other hand, the story is the complete opposite. By coming in on Saturday they would have collected per diem for Saturday, but if we ran into Sunday, they could not collect per diem for that day.
By putting off session until Tuesday the house can collect per diem for both Monday (as many members plan to come in on) and Tuesday, the last official session day. They also get to collect their mileage expense at about $.50 a mile for another weeks trip expense because they didn't use up that last day on Saturday. For some members that can add up to an extra $300.00 or $400.00 bucks into the house members pocket.
The senate, on the other hand, is out 2 days per diem and a lot of extra driving for nothing. They are not happy.
How do they return the favor?
They do not plan to return until Wednesday. The house will return on Tuesday and collect their last per diem day, but as I said, unless both bodies are present, it does not work. The house will have to stick around and wait for the senate. The Senate is sticking it back to the house members by making them stay at the capitol for an extra per diemless day (Wednesday) to return the favor.
Silly games because some house members got greedy for a few hundred extra bucks or wanted to stick it to the senate.
"The Dean" Has another theory