Friday, April 8, 2011

Price tag for this year's special legislative session: $1.5 million

Even worse than the fact that this year's special legislative session was unproductive is how expensive it became.

According to numbers I obtained from the LRC, politicians have cost taxpayers nearly $2 million during the past two years just because they could not get their work done on time.

Last year's special session to address the budget and the state's road plan lasted six days and cost $380,000. The price tag for this year's 24-day session, which lasted from March 14 through April 6: $1.5 million.

These figures are based on the LRC's estimated cost of $63,500 each day legislators meet in Frankfort.

Since special sessions are called by the governor, who sets the agenda, it's worthy of note here that Gov. Steve Beshear did not abide by his own past rhetoric about agreement between the House and Senate before calling a special session.

This year's special session could have been avoided if the governor had agreed to the Kentucky Senate's bipartisan proposal to cut spending rather than insist that Kentucky borrow $167 million from next year's Medicaid budget to fill this year's Medicaid budget deficit. (Read more about Kentucky's Medicaid program here.)

Perhaps the governor would consider reimbursing taxpayers out of his hefty campaign war chest?

No comments: