House committee turns ‘Spaghettios Bill’ into meal expense study

BISMARCK, N.D. – A proposal to reimburse North Dakota lawmakers for meals beyond their per diem payments could be included in a longer-term study of overall expense reimbursements.

Republican Rep. Keith Kempenich introduced a bill Thursday that would reimburse state lawmakers from outside Bismarck for meals on days when they’re in session.

A legislative estimate says the bill, called the “Oh, no, Spaghettios Bill,” by Fargo Rep. Mary Schneider, would cost taxpayers about $424,000.  Kempenich has said he used to get fancy dinners from lobbyists, but that now, he has to eat spaghetti out of a can.

The House Government and Veterans Affairs Committee rejected that proposal, but voted in favor of an amendment Kempenich offered that the would set up a two-year study of lawmakers’ pay and expense reimbursements.

The bill now goes to the House for a vote.

Categories: Local News, North Dakota News, Politics / Elections