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Special session costs taxpayers thousands

Most lawmakers admit it’s a place they would rather not be. The debate is whose fault the session is. “The House is not happy about being here. We thought we had done our work, we never got the bill back from the Senate,” said Rep. Robert Damron, (D) Nicholasville.

“I don’t think it’s accurate to say that the Senate got it, and we didn’t pass it. Because no plan was agreed upon until 3pm on the Thursday of the 60th day,” said Sen. Robert Stivers, (R) Manchester.
But since no road budget plan was agreed upon, lawmakers were called back at a cost of more than $60,000 a day.

Of that, $26,580 goes for General Assembly salaries. $18,671 is for expenses, according to information from the Legislative Research Commission.

Some have even proposed a new law that would prevent legislators from getting paid if they don’t get their budget work done in a regular session. "That would have been a constitutional amendment that said when we adjourn without completing our workload, we have to stay in session, not get paid past the 60th legislative day,” said Damron.

Much of the first day was about organization, putting the transportation budget and prescription drug bills into committee and scheduling the first House floor vote for Wednesday.

“We’ll see what happens but I feel confident we’ll get a road fund passed, we have a pretty good road fund. I’m hopeful both sides can get together and we can work this out,” said Rep. Lonnie Napier, (R) Lancaster.

The minimum time it takes to get a bill out of both chambers is 5 days, meaning the session likely won’t cost any less than $302,282.

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