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Special legislative sessions costs taxpayers

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Amarillo, Texas - Texans will be paying for another trip back to Austin for state lawmakers.

Governor Rick Perry called house and senate members back for a third time since a key transportation measure failed to be voted on. But each special session comes with a hefty price tag at an estimated $800,000.

Lawmakers are given a per diem for expenses such as food and housing in Austin during special sessions. During the 140 day regular session, legislators are given $2,100 in per diem payments, special sessions add another $4,500 to that total, which is footed by taxpayer dollars.

We asked local residents their thoughts on having to pay for yet another session in Austin.

"If we're spending $800,000 dollars each time, we've gone over twice, we're definitely on borrowed time and credit and I don't believe in that type of thing myself," Monte Mask, Amarillo resident says.

"They need to take care of business in the regular time they're supposed to be there, regular sessions. We're all expected to do our jobs, and not take extra time to do them," Ann Menefee, Amarillo resident says.

The heated debate on the recently passed abortion bill took up a majority of the second session. Governor Perry says this  a time there will be laser focus on funding for Texas roadways when the session begins Monday.

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