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Should Taxpayers Cover Dry-Cleaning Costs for Lawmakers?

A Shoreline senator requested reimbursement for her dry-cleaning bill.

A Shoreline lawmaker was among 19 legislators who had taxpayers cover their dry-cleaning costs in the past two years, The Associated Press reported Tuesday.

The report analyzed thousands of expense reimbursements, and found lawmakers had requested payment for things such as artwork in their offices, organization dues and dry cleaning, all as legitimate business expenses.

Sen. Maralyn Chase, D-Shoreline, requested reimbursement of $184.15 for dry cleaning, the news service reported.

Chase's office hasn't responded yet to Patch's request for comment.

What do you think should be considered “legitimate business expenses” that should be reimbursed? Does dry cleaning qualify? Tell us in the comments.

Nick Miller January 29, 2013 at 11:28 PM
No, none.
Emdee January 30, 2013 at 12:15 AM
Seems like more details are needed before people can pass judegment. If she was traveling on offical business, which had her staying in a hotel for a decent chunk of time then yes, it should be covered. If she wasn't traveling when this was done, then no.
Kim Schattenkirk January 30, 2013 at 01:47 PM
No! We don't owe any of that. They are there to do a service. Not to get a free ride. They can pay for there own drycleaning, artwork, dues, etc. We have a shortage and they need to look at what there responsibility is in that case.
Rob January 30, 2013 at 03:42 PM
only if the rest of us get to write off our dry cleaning expenses
Priya Sinha January 30, 2013 at 04:19 PM
I know Senator Chase and suspect there is more to this story than we know. I know her to be one of the most honest people I know. However, there is no way that we should be reimbursing anyone for dry cleaning. What would be next? We would be reimbursing for buying new clothes that may have been needed on a trip? Really?
Suz Steele January 30, 2013 at 04:56 PM
IF she was traveling on official business, and IF there was some sort of accident that soiled the clothes she needed for the official business, then NO, absolutely not! Next, she might feel she is entitled to ask for reimbursement for clothes "needed" for her job on a day to day basis! Or maybe a visit to the salon because her hair needed work done. Or ...?
Larry January 30, 2013 at 06:35 PM
Obviously depends upon the circumstances, but why opine over $184 when the state is currently giving a huge tax break to the oil refineries in the state. The "Extracted Fuel Exclusion" loophole will cost the state at least $63 million over the next two years, and we're fired up over $184? Originally passed for the timber industry to allow them to burn forest scrap wood as fuel for their operations, the oil industry clamped onto this for fueling THEIR operations with oil. Over the last 60 years, WA taxpayers have given away hundreds of millions of dollars of taxpayers money to an industry never 'intended' to be able to use that exemption. Only 1 other state in the US has such an exclusion, and Alabama's is much more restrictive. So, let's balance the possible 'gift' of $184.15 to a State senator under unknown circumstances to the $63,000,000 tax gift by WA to the richest industry on the face of Planet. BTW, outgoing Governor Gregoire's budget calls for a removal of this exclusion. Write or call your state legislators and Governor Inslee to make sure that misuse of State funds via the Extracted Fuel Exclusion is ended.
Susan January 30, 2013 at 10:43 PM
Emdee I would have to agree you make good points. It is not clear cut people can abuse the system but that does not mean there is never an appropriate reason why these expenses were made. As for the Art work I assume an office of a public employee is a public space so we should be the art...but it stays in the offices it is not the politicians to take with them, it belongs to the public. I do however feel like organization dues should be covered if they are related to their job. Organizations that the person belongs to for personal recreation should definitely not bu covered. Its a fine like and that is why we have auditors. Some of the time it is appropriate and other times people in power abuse the system. You just have to take it on a case by case basis.
nancy January 31, 2013 at 12:59 AM
Why in the world should the tax payers be paying her dry cleaning? Traveling or not that is gouging the citizens.....and abuse of her office. I am curious as to what else she has charged??? She should be ashamed!!
nancy gustafson January 31, 2013 at 12:59 AM
Why in the world should the tax payers be paying her dry cleaning? Traveling or not that is gouging the citizens.....and abuse of her office. I am curious as to what else she has charged??? She should be ashamed!!
Jerry Matchett January 31, 2013 at 01:29 AM
I was a science teacher in a public school. Neither my laundry costs nor dry cleaning were paid by my employer. I even had to buy my own lab coats. Why should lawmakers get personal items cleaned at governmental expense? I am sure they find enough ways to pad their expense accounts as is.

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