In a statewide election, North Dakotans voted to eliminate gifts to legislators from lobbyists. So now there is no such thing as a free lunch.

So who's picking up the lunch check? Could be you North Dakota.  Don't forget to leave a tip.  A few weeks back, I offered up a piece titled "North Dakota Makes It Tricky To Buy Politicians".  explaining how North Dakota had just adopted a zero-tolerance law regarding gifts from political lobbyists.  No more spiff gifts and certainly no more picking up the tab when wining and dining.  A situation ND GOP Rep. Keith Kempenich is finding hard to digest.  This from KXNET...

Kempenich says he used to get fancy dinners from lobbyists, but that now he has to eat spaghetti out of a can.

He and a bipartisan group of tummy growling Representatives have introduced House Bill 1424.  The bill seeks to establish reimbursement for meals during legislative sessions. Rep. Kempenich was also quoted as saying the legislators have "Gone from steak and lobster to finger food".  Keith Kempenich is a longtime Representative from Bowman now coming up on 30 years in state government, so I don't want to besmirch his service with just a few artfully selected quotes.  We appreciate your hard work and the resourcefulness of your colleagues pinching treats from desktop candy dishes.

If you've been conditioned for decades to having self-serving interests with big pocketbooks grabbing the check for your porterhouse, I can't blame you for being upset settling for Spagetti-Os. Look, if your job provided free meals and then suddenly people across the state voted to eliminate the practice, you'd probably go to the boss and try to get some some more cash to cover your new expenses.  So while the way Keith describes his dilemma may be amusing, he could have a point.

Here's a simplified breakdown of our lawmaker's compensation.

Lawmakers are paid $518 a month and $186 a day during the session. They also receive a housing allowance during the session of more than $1,800 a month and are included on the state-funded employee health plan worth about $1,425 monthly.

Is that gonna put food on the table?  Please tell us what you think.

Maybe Lawmakers could whip up one of these great recipes on a hotel hotplate.

LOOK: Here are copycat recipes from 20 of the most popular fast food restaurants in America