Lawmakers plan to take furloughs

TOPEKA — Republican legislative leaders announced Monday that neither chamber would work Fridays in January to save the state money.

The leaders also agreed to propose a 5 percent pay cut for legislators and to rescind a recent increase in legislative subsistence (per diem) pay, taking the daily allowance back from $116 to $109 a day for food and lodging, a 6 percent cut. Those changes would have to be approved by the Legislature.

In 2009, lawmakers received $88.66 each day they served in their elected capacity. They also received a $109 per diem to cover expenses. So, during a typical 90-day session, a lawmaker would have pulled in $17,789.40.

The furlough days — Jan. 15, 22 and 29 — could save up to $141,728.

Exceptions to the Fridays off will be made for lawmakers who work on chambers' budget committees.