Benton missed 2ndmost floor votes in recent sessions

first_imgState Sen. Don Benton, a Vancouver Republican, missed more votes in the just-concluded 2011 regular and special legislative sessions than all but one other state senator.Benton missed 79 of 648 floor votes, according to WashingtonVotes.org, a nonpartisan organization that prepares the annual tabulations. He was second only to Sen. Jerome Delvin, R-Richland, who explained that some of the 120 votes he missed were because of the unexpected death of his father.Among the votes Benton took a pass on were the state operating and capital budgets and a bill to lease state liquor warehousing and distribution. All three passed the Senate on May 25, the last day of the special session. Benton’s explanation: “In addition to taking excused absences for unforeseen conflicts due to the unusual nature of special sessions, I also miss votes on occasion while meeting with constituents and while negotiating with members of the House on issues to affect a better outcome.“I do this only when I already know that votes I miss are on issues where the outcome will not be affected by my absence,” Benton told WashingtonVotes.org. “In other words, when the bill is clearly going to pass anyway without my vote, I will choose to meet with constituents who have come to the Capitol to see me.”last_img

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