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Special Session Costing Taxpayers Thousands

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Senate President Pro Tem Brian Bingman says the session could adjourn as soon as Monday, leaving taxpayers footing the bill for $150,000 for four days, less than the eight days some legislators initially predicted. Senate President Pro Tem Brian Bingman says the session could adjourn as soon as Monday, leaving taxpayers footing the bill for $150,000 for four days, less than the eight days some legislators initially predicted.
OKLAHOMA CITY -

The special session on lawsuit reform is costing taxpayers about $30,000 a day. Some of those participating think our money's being wasted.

We had 9 Investigates' Alex Cameron looks into how much work our elected officials are doing now that they're back at the Capitol.

The Senate met for about 30 minutes Tuesday, the first day of the special session, and just 20 minutes on Wednesday. The House met for just over an hour Tuesday, two hours on Wednesday.

Both the House and Senate were at it longer on Thursday and actually passed a dozen of the bills needed to replace the reforms that had been approved, unconstitutionally it turns out, as part of one bill in 2009.

Some lawmakers have criticized the session as a waste of money saying taxpayers shouldn't be paying legislators for a full day of work, when they're only discussing one issue an issue that should have been taken care of already.

"For the amount of time that we put in here compared to what we're paid is ridiculous. I wish they would pay us by the hour. And I'm talking the session hour," said Sen. Tom Ivester, (D) – Elk City.

Senate President Pro Tem Brian Bingman says they have to follow certain procedures, such as multiple readings of bills and open meetings laws, that require them to be there, if only for a short time.

"We try to be mindful of the time here and try to be as efficient as possible," said Bingman.

Bingman says the session could adjourn as soon as Monday, leaving taxpayers footing the bill for $150,000 for four days, less than the eight days some legislators initially predicted.

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