Everyone has a story. What's yours?
Linda Thomas
According an AP analysis of thousands of expense reimbursements, seven Democrats and 12 Republicans in the Washington Legislature requested and received compensation totaling more than $5,600 for dry cleaning since the start of 2011. (file photo)

These state lawmakers made you pay for their dirty laundry

Some state lawmakers left taxpayers with the bill for their dry cleaning.

Associated Press reporter Mike Baker broke the story that Gary Alexander, the Republican budget writer in the state House, billed more than $500 worth of dry-cleaning fees to the state over the past two years,

According to an AP analysis of thousands of expense reimbursements, he wasn't alone. Seven Democrats and 12 Republicans in the Legislature requested and received compensation totaling more than $5,600 for dry cleaning since the start of 2011.

Here's a breakdown of the lawmakers and how much they were reimbursed:

Rep. Ann Rivers, R-La Center: $519.18

Sen. Curtis King, R-Yakima: $511.27

Rep. Gary Alexander, R-Olympia: $509.92

Rep. Brad Klippert, R-Kennewick: $480.02

Rep. Jim Moeller, D-Vancouver: $448.40

Rep. Mike Armstrong, R-Wenatchee: $439.62

Sen. Sharon Nelson, D-Vashon Island: $407.29

Sen. Val Stevens, R-Arlington: $323.24

Sen. Brian Hatfield, D-Raymond: $320.28

Sen. Tim Sheldon, D-Potlatch: $320

Rep. Glenn Anderson, R-Fall City: $265.19

Rep. David Taylor, R-Moxee: $246.64

Rep. Bill Hinkle, R-Cle Elum: $234.26

Sen. Maralyn Chase, D-Shoreline: $184.15

Rep. Cathy Dahlquist, R-Enumclaw: $182

Rep. Chris Reykdal, D-Tumwater: $83.32

Sen. Don Benton, R-Vancouver: $72

Rep. Tina Orwall, D-Des Moines: $35.97

Sen. Janea Holmquist Newbry, R-Moses Lake: $28

Stephen Ellis, vice president of the group Taxpayers for Common Sense, says the idea that lawmakers should spend public money to decorate their office or keep their clothes clean is beyond the pale.

While the amount of money may be small in comparison to the budget at large, the expenses offer a chance for taxpayers to get a glimpse at how lawmakers operate.

"We see it as a lens into how they approach the budget," says Ellis. "If they're profligate with their own spending in offices, it stands to reason that they're not going to be too frugal with the state or the federal budget."


AP contributed to this report

Top Stories

  • Prime-Time
    Will prime-time be a good time for the Seahawks once again?

  • Week in Photos
    Cheetahs, penguins and Santa make it in this week's photos
ATTENTION COMMENTERS: We've changed our comments, but want to keep you in the conversation.
Please login below with your Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or Disqus account. Existing MyNorthwest account holders will need to create a new Disqus account or use one of the social logins provided below. Thank you.
comments powered by Disqus
About Linda
Linda is the morning news anchor and features reporter for KIRO Radio. This is her local news blog, with an emphasis on social media, technology, Northwest companies, education, parenting, and anything else that grabs her attention.

If you have a news tip or story idea, I'd love to hear from you...

To leave a voice message for Linda about any of her stories call toll free 1-855-251-2363

Follow Me on Pinterest

Sign up for breaking news e-mail alerts from MyNorthwest.com
In the community
Do you know an exceptional citizen who has impacted and inspired others?
KIRO Radio and WSECU would like to recognize six oustanding citizens this year. Nominate them to be recognized and to receive a $2,000 charitable grant.