How much does it cost Kentucky to hold a Special Legislative Session?

Across the Commonwealth, we await word on when Governor Matt Bevin will call for a Special Session to tackle pension reform.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) – According to Kentucky’s non-partisan Legislative Research Commission or "L.R.C." the daily cost of a Special Legislative Session is $65,504.63.

Governor Matt Bevin has promised a 5-day session focusing on pension reform insisting that it will happen before year's end.

At least one lawmaker is questioning the dollars and “sense” of holding the session considering that lawmakers will return to Frankfort on January 2nd for a Regular Session.

According to the L.R.C., during a special session, rank and file State Representatives and Senators make $188.22 per session day.

Leadership will make more with the Senate President and House Speaker topping the list with per day pay of $233.57.

Lawmakers will also be reimbursed for mileage from their home to Frankfort.

State law requires Pages get paid $35 per day and Chamber Clerks receive $120 dollars daily.

L.R.C. estimates that the overall 5-day Special Session should cost Kentucky taxpayers a total of $327,523.15.

41st District Democrat, State Representative, Attica Scott has been clear that she opposes the Special Session for a number of reasons, one of them is that she feels those most impacted by pension reform have been shut out of the process.

"It's a misuse of taxpayer dollars to spend more than a quarter of a million dollars on a special session that is going to keep them out of the process,” Representative Scott explained. “And it's pension reform without tax reform, that's a waste of time.” 

Democrat, 19th District State Senator, Morgan McGarvey once voiced support for the Special Session but considering that lawmakers are set to return in January for the regular session, and the Governor’s bill has struggled to gain Republican support, he too considers it a waste of taxpayer money at this point to call a Special Session.

"When you say, ‘dollars and cents’, I think we need to think of it as ‘common sense’ as well,” Senator McGarvey said. “We know the dollars, now we need to think about the common sense of it and I would just stress that we need to get this bill out in the open. It needs to be a transparent, open process for debating the pension problem that we all agree exists.

© 2017 WHAS-TV


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