Sen. Debbie Regala penned an interesting blog post this week defending lawmakers’ special session to deal with the budget.
The Democrat from Tacoma notes that the cost of the 30-day overtime period comes out of the Legislature’s budget. Lawmakers don’t appropriate extra money to pay for it. She says that means “tax payers contribute no more than they already do,” because the Legislature makes do with less the rest of the year.
The cost of special sessions over the past 25 years has not required any additional tax payer dollars. Both the House and Senate absorb the cost of special sessions in their original budget appropriation and will do so again this year, despite having endured significant budget reductions over the course of this biennium. The majority of these costs are a per diem stipend for senators that help cover cost of living, while away from home and regular jobs.