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      Shorter work week for lawmakers could save money

      Thursday is normally a work day for members of the Missouri House, but they took that day off this week to save money.

      Callaway County representative Jeannie Riddle says the chamber was empty today because the body had no bills out of committee to be considered on the floor.

      "As far as where the bills are in the process," Riddle points out, "there isn't really anything we can do today to warrant everybody staying if they didn't have to."

      During the session, members ordinarily meet Monday through Thursday. But House leaders are considering making a three-day work week permanent. That would save taxpayers a day of per diem expense money for the 163 house members. With the per diem now at just over 98 dollars per day, that would total $16,039.20.

      For the session, that's about $240,588 saved. That number is based on 15 three day weeks. Some weeks are already shortened by holidays. The legislative session runs January through May 18th.

      Lawmakers collect an annual salary of $35,915.