BATON ROUGE, La. (KLFY) – Louisiana lawmakers are preparing to start yet another special session next Monday.
It’s the third attempt of 2018 to try and solve the state’s nearly $650 million budget deficit, and it will be the 7th since Governor Edwards took office in January of 2016.
Special session days cost between 50 to 60 thousand dollars per day when you combine the costs from the House and the Senate.
While News 10 is still waiting for the total costs of the second special session, the first session in total, cost taxpayers a pretty penny.
“The session will likely start early in the week after Father’s Day, sometime around the 18th or so of June, it will probably be about a 10 day session,” said Gov. Edwards.
If at first you don’t succeed, you try again.
“Yes, I am trying to run the clock out,” said State Representative Alan Seabaugh (R), District 5.
Well, one more time in this case for Louisiana lawmakers.
The third time this year for lawmakers to try and raise enough revenue in taxes to balance the budget, by their deadline of July 1.
“I’m excited about fixing this, you know using this as an opportunity to fix the problems of the state, and O think that’s what we’re going to do,” said Gov. Edwards.
But that excitement, is costing money…
As the total amount of money spent for the 15 day first special session,was a whopping estimated $643 thousand.
Clerk of the House & Custodian of House Records, Alfred Speer, says the house spent on average $30,107.98 each special session day.
The House expended a total of $451,619.70 for them to even conduct the session.
While the subtotal for senator and session personnel was $173,196.49, the subtotal employer’s contributions was $14,991.09, and the subtotal operating services was $3,161.42.
Bringing the senate’s total spent for the first special session, to $191,349.00.
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures Louisiana, lawmakers receive $164 per day and get 54 cents per mile, for one round trip from their homes to the State Capital each week.
Some lawmakers like State Rep Malinda White (D), District 75 and State Rep. Jay Morris (R) for District 14, have already stated that they will either give their pay for hte next special sesion to chairty, or to some cause to better their district.
As for the second special session, they are still calculating all the pay invoices. But accoriding to Speer, the same speical session days would have been in the regular session, if there had not been a hard push by leadership to finish early.
So the costs for the second special session could be cheaper.
News 10 should know those costs in a few weeks.