Taxpayers charged for $370 picture frame: A necessary legislative expense?

Taxpayers charged for $370 picture frame: A necessary legislative expense?
YAKIMA, Wash. -- Lunch meetings, long cell phone conversations and lengthy dry cleaning tabs aren't that unusual for lawmakers during the legislative session but can add up to hefty bills fronted by the taxpayers.

KIMA dug into the expense reports of our local politicians and the costs regularly reimbursed on your dime.

Senator Curtis King (R) Yakima, dished out more than $500 on dry cleaning since 2011.

"Do you feel spending $511 on dry cleaning is excessive?" KIMA asked.

"Well, I can tell you it's not excessive," said King. "Part of our policy is that that is a reimbursable expense. So, when I'm in Olympia and I'm living here, I have that expense reimbursed."

You also covered his $128 dollar monthly cell phone. That's about $50 more than the cell phone bills submitted by lawmakers Norm Johnson and Bruce Chandler.

"I only use that phone for legislative calls," said King.

King's costs, however, pale in comparison to the money spent by representative David Taylor (R) Moxee.

KIMA pulled the numbers and found he billed the state nearly $2,000 for meals over the last two years. Taylor dropped up to $60 at a time on these sit downs with constituents.

He also spent $700 on office supplies; $200 on an office chair alone, another $250 on dry cleaning.

Representative Norm Johnson also racked a sizable bill.

He spent almost $1,500 taxpayer dollars on office supplies since 2011. $370 on one picture frame.

"I'd be glad to sit down with them at anytime and let them explain how is part-time job is far from being a part time job," said King.

Lawmakers must submit receipts when their bills are over $75. State senators also authorize that their bills are necessary legislative business expenses.

To get all sides, KIMA tried to reach representatives Norm Johnson and David Taylor.

Our calls were not returned.