Pictures: Costs of a special session

State leaders are considering holding two special General Assembly sessions this year — one to deal with budget issues and one to consider expanded gambling. The state Department of Legislative Services has provided a breakdown of the projected per-day costs of a special session, based on the experience of a 21-day fall session in 2007. A shorter session, which is what legislative leaders would hope for, would cost less as a daily average because extra staff costs would be minimal. While DLS did not have a specific breakdown, it estimated the per-day cost of a one- or two-day at about $20,000. Under any scenario, the cost of a special session is small in the context of a $35 billion state budget. But politically, any extra costs resonate because many voters believe lawmakers should have accomplished their work in their regular 90-day session. -- Michael Dresser
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