The Costs of Extended Legislative Sessions

By WEEK Reporter

The Costs of Extended Legislative Sessions

December 13, 2011 Updated Dec 14, 2011 at 10:52 AM CDT

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. -- While the recently approved earned income tax credit will save many working citizens money. However the process of getting that approval is costing Illinois taxpayers big.

Illinois' 177 lawmakers are paid $111 in per diem expenses when legislators are called back to the state Capitol after the regularly scheduled fall veto session.

They also receive $0.39 a mile for any extra session days.

This year, there have been three such days, November 29 for the House and Senate; December 12 for the House and today for the senate.

When you do the math, it puts the cost of each extra session day between $20,000 and $30,000.

When lawmakers are in session, there are added costs for state workers and legislative staff members,.

Illinois lawmakers are not expected to return to the capitol again until January.

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