Rep. Steve Maier’s House Health Care Committee has found a unique way to curb obnoxious cell phone calls interrupting proceedings.
A small fishbowl in the center of the third-floor committee room’s table notes a $1 penalty for cell phone rings while the group is in session. When the committee – which has spent much of the session working on a major new health care bill – convened this afternoon, there were four one dollar bills in the jar.
Until the cell phone on an embarrassed woman’s belt rang shortly before 2 p.m. But she knew exactly what to do.
"How much do I owe?" she asked. "I only have a five."
That five now sits in the jar and the four one dollar bills in her pocket.
Some committee members joked that they could soon throw a party with the money building up in the jar. But Rep. Virgina Milkey quickly brought the discussion back to reality by pointing out that the beer that $5 purchases would be of rather poor quality.