Fewer Special Sessions Should Be Called, Expensive

Governor Haley Barbour says he will call a special session of the state legislature in the next few months to take up Medicaid funding issues which could not be resolved in the regular legislative session.

It seems to us that we have too many special sessions in our state.  Since 2000, there have been 19 special sessions.

It costs state taxpayers almost 60,000 thousand dollars for a one day special legislative session. If the session goes longer, the cost drops to 40,000 for each day after that.

If each of those special sessions just met for one day and several went longer than that, the cost to us taxpayers is well over a million dollars.

We realize that some special sessions are needed. There were five called in 2005, and most dealt with the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

Some will argue the legislature shortened its session this year and therefore saved us money. That's great. The way it should be.

But it still seems to us the state's Medicaid issues could have been solved in the regular session of the legislature without the taxpayers having to foot this extra expense.

If they'd dealt with it in the regular session, the money saved could have gone toward funding Medicaid.

That's our opinion, we would like to hear yours. Email your thoughts to editorials@wlox.com.

David Vincent
WLOX-TV Station Manager