Lawmakers returning to Tallahassee tomorrow and Friday to vote -- a week late -- on next year's budget will likely cost taxpayers upwards of $50,000 a day. Not the $40,000 a day figure cited for so many years.
In honor of the extended session, we figured it was time to get a more accurate update on costs.
Turns out the cost is more like upwards of $50,000 a day, based on figures for travel, food, per diems and utility costs from recent special sessions.
See the attached files for the travel, food and per diem costs for the past three special sessions. The most recent, in January of this year, cost $46,378 between the two chambers. And according to the Department of Management Services, the utility bill for the nine-day special session added nearly $6,000 in utility costs to the January bill (when compared to the January '08 bill, and factoring in utility rate hikes). That adds up to nearly $53,000 a day.
And yes, those are taxpayer dollars being spent so that lawmakers can come to agreement on how to save taxpayer dollars.