PITTSBURG — Representative Monica Murnan (D-Pittsburg) has decided to give back to the community from what she sees as a concerning trend in Topeka.
Historically, the Kansas State House of Representatives and Senate have had a 90-day session. However, the legislature has gone over 90 days for the past few years. The legislature even budgeted for the 2017 session to stretch to 100 days.
Murnan said she does not like this new norm of extending the time it takes for the legislature to complete its work, so for every day past the 90-day mark, Murnan will donate her daily wage as a representative to the Family Resource Center in Pittsburg.
“Last year, the legislature budgeted for 100 days, but we still have a lot to get done,” Murnan said. “I think we should be able to get our work accomplished in 90 days.”
Murnan says she will be donating $88.66 per day to the Family Resource Center to offset the center’s milk expenses. The center buys milk for 250 area children each day, and if the session extends to the full 100 days — which Murnan said she expects — her donation will be enough for six weeks of milk at the center.
Murnan was in charge of the center for 17 years, but she said that isn’t the only reason she chose it for her donation.
“Obviously I chose it because of my relationship with the center since 1995,” Murnan said. “But I truly believe the center is one of the most efficiently run organizations in the state, and because of it’s tremendous impact for children on a daily basis I saw no greater place to donate.”
May 14 was the 90th day, so Murnan’s donation is already ticking up, but she said it isn’t an uncommon practice. Senator Dinah Sykes (R-Lenexa) is also donating her overtime earnings back.
“It’s not uncommon and several folks do it and have done it,” Murnan said. “For me it seemed like the right thing to do.
“I was always taught that you don’t accept payment for work you haven’t completed, and I feel like we haven’t completed our work.”
— Chance Hoener is a staff writer for the Morning Sun. He can be emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @ReporterChance.