2nd special session could cost taxpayers additional $800K - KXXV Central Texas News Now

2nd special session could cost taxpayers additional $800K


Governor Rick Perry has called for a second special session that could help lawmakers pass undecided legislation, but it will come at a cost for Texans.

After 30 days Texas lawmakers were unable to pass three bills concerning abortion restrictions, highway funding and juvenile justice. But one local lawmaker says the special session shouldn't be considered a failure, because it accomplished the main goal it had.

"The special session was a success with the redistricting being settled," District 56 Representative Charles "Doc" Anderson said.

Although redistricting passed during the first special session, Governor Perry thinks "too much important work remains undone" and has called for a second special session.

Each special session could cost taxpayers more than $800,000. Each lawmaker is given a $150 per diem to cover food and living expenses per day during a regular or special session. The longer a special session goes, the more money will be spent.

If the second special session takes a full 30 days, Texans could be paying legislators nearly $1.6 million. Anderson understands the financial questions that surround another special session, but he believes these bills are worth discussing.

"Special sessions are costly to taxpayers, so were aren't going to be willy nilly," Anderson said. "But it is important that we address serious infrastructure issues that we have in Texas ."

In 2005, state lawmakers met in three 30-day special sessions to resolve education financing. Anderson says the next special session doesn't have to last 30 days as long as both parties can come to agreement.

"The session doesn't have to be 30 days. One of them we had a couple years ago were three days and we have had them before for two weeks," Anderson said.

The second special session is expected to start July 1.

Powered by Frankly