In the wake of yesterday's epic fail on transportation funding it looks like state legislators are headed back to Austin for a third month-long special session, and it won't be cheap. As the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports this morning, each extra month the legislature's in session costs $800,000, bringing the likely toll on taxpayers to $2.4 million.
Much of this could have been avoided, of course. Lawmakers could have done what they're elected to do and finished their business in the spring. Failing that, they could have set aside inflammatory topics and focused on addressing the state's glaring funding shortfalls in water and transportation. Or, since that seems to have been a nonstarter, Republicans could have steamrolled Democrats and pushed through their desired abortion restrictions as they wound up doing in the second session.
The other option is to blame everything -- the mounting numbers of special sessions, the unnecessary costs, the GOP's embarrassing collapse in round one -- on State Senator Wendy Davis
"I am upset at the cost," Representative Giovanni Capriglione, a Tea Party Republican from Southlake, told the Star-Telegram. "I think we need to remember why we are having this extra special session. One state senator, in an effort to capture national attention, forced this special session.
"I firmly believe that Sen. Wendy Davis should reimburse the taxpayers for the entire cost of the second special session. I am sure that she has raised enough money at her Washington, D.C., fundraiser to cover the cost."
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It seems unlikely that Davis raked in quite that much at her recent trip to the nation's capital, but Capriglione made his point. So did Davis, who pointed out that it's Governor Rick Perry, not a Democratic Senator, who keeps calling lawmakers back to Austin.