State puts a price tag on failure

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Special session cost taxpayers $643K

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Louisiana’s failed special session on taxes, which didn’t raise any money to help close a state budget gap, cost taxpayers nearly $643,000.

Information provided by the House and Senate to NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune showed the 15-day session, held from Feb. 19 through March 5, cost $42,865 per day.

The spending was less than the range of $50,000 to $60,000 per day that is usual for special sessions. That could be because the House could not reach a consensus on taxes, leaving the Senate few reasons to meet.

Nearly all tax measures must start in the House.

According to the records, the House spent $451,620 on the session and the Senate $191,349.

Much of the money covered compensation for lawmakers. The state paid $324,879 to legislators for per diem and mileage.

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