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Senate orders $985 dinner on taxpayer dime

Published 8:46 am Friday, March 15, 2013

Nearly $1,000 in taxpayer dollars paid for dinner in the state Senate as lawmakers worked late into the night March 7, the Lexington Herald-Leader reports.

The meals 133 boxed barbeque dinners from Staxx BBQ, four vegetarian dinners from Chilis Grill & Bar, and lemonade and tea from Kroger cost $985.69 and was authorized by Senate President Robert Stivers, according to the newspaper. It was the first time since 2008 that senators were fed using tax dollars not included in their daily $135.50 stipends, the Herald-Leader reported.

State Journal Editor Dan Liebman owns Staxx BBQ.

Time was an issue in the decision, Stivers, R-Manchester, told the Herald-Leader. Had lawmakers left the Capitol for dinner during the 10-hour workday, the Senate would not have been able to finish its business by midnight that evening, he said.

I knew this was going to be a long night, Stivers told the newspaper. We had several bills that we wanted to get completed. We did. The next days were to be concurrence days (to decide if the Senate and House agreed on bills). We wanted to stick to the schedule.

Stivers said he would reimburse the whole $1,000 if there is criticism or question of the expenditures appropriateness, the Herald-Leader reported.