SPRINGFIELD, Ill. -- Rough estimates show that it costs nearly $48,000 for one day of legislative special session in Illinois, factoring in travel and per diem payments for lawmakers.
The Secretary of the Senate's office provided a snapshot, accounting for $111 daily per diem and 39 cents per mile for 177 members of the General Assembly. The total also includes paying staff needed when lawmakers are at the Capitol.
However, the actual cost may be lower. The calculation considers full attendance and several lawmakers were gone Wednesday.
Also, some lawmakers say they are forgoing the per diem payments, including House Republican Leader Jim Durkin. Legislative officials couldn't immediately say how many were following suit, saying the paperwork could take some time.
Gov. Bruce Rauner called the special session to force a budget deal. It started Wednesday and could last up to 10 days. The Republican had previously dismissed the idea as too costly. This year as Illinois could enter a third straight year without a budget, he said the special session was urgently needed.
The special session could last up to 10 days.
If lawmakers don't reach an agreement by July 1, Illinois will enter a third consecutive year without a budget. There could be major consequences without a budget, including another credit downgrade for the state.