Tennessee Special Sessions Cost More Than $30K Per Day

by Jon Styf


If Gov. Bill Lee calls for a special session of the Tennessee Legislature, it will cost state taxpayers more than $30,000 per day.

Each day the House and Senate meet costs $30,750 in per diem for lawmakers, while each round trip for all lawmakers costs taxpayers $15,474 in mileage, according to Connie Ridley, the director of Tennessee’s Office of Legislative Administration.

House Speaker Cameron Sexton sent a letter signed by all House Republicans on Wednesday to Lee, asking for a special session to address COVID-19 responses from the state’s school districts and local governments.

A would-be special session also is expected to address school vouchers for parents.

“We believe there is much debate and action needed around the appropriate balance of parents’ right to make healthcare decisions for their children and the government’s ability to mandate healthcare decisions upon them,” Sexton said in the letter. “Finally, in addition to the debate needed around continued COVID-19 mandates, the General Assembly needs to evaluate the ongoing discrimination of Tennesseans by prohibiting their access to buildings due only to their vaccination status.”

While Sexton included mask mandates as a concern, not all of his colleagues agree. Mask mandates to start the school year have been approved in Tennessee school districts, including Henry County Schools in Paris, Shelby County Schools in Memphis, Metro Nashville Public Schools and Williamson County Schools south of Nashville.

Lt. Gov. Randy McNally, who presides over the Senate, said he favors local decision-making on the best policies to combat COVID-19 cases. McNally said he believes the most important factor is students attending in-person classrooms.

“I remain convinced that locally elected school boards and private school organizations know how best to manage operations during this pandemic so that students can remain healthy, learning and, most importantly, in the classroom,” McNally said in a statement. “If a special session is called, I will work with Governor Lee, Speaker Sexton and all my colleagues to keep this our mission focus. Children learn best in a classroom. And they can only do that if they remain healthy, vibrant and safe.”

Democratic leadership voiced its opposition to a special session after Sexton’s letter was released.

“We cannot support a special session where the controlling party is only concerned with punishing private business owners and school districts for exercising medically appropriate precautions to keep people safe,” said Sen. Raumesh Akbari, D-Memphis, chair of the Senate Democratic Caucus. “This pandemic has claimed the lives of nearly 13,000 Tennesseans and we should all be fighting the virus – not playing politics. The special session our families deserve would focus on affordable healthcare through Medicaid expansion.”

– – –

Jon Styf is a contributor to The Center Square.
Photo “Tennessee State Capitol” by Andre Porter (CC BY-SA 3.0).




Related posts

7 Thoughts to “Tennessee Special Sessions Cost More Than $30K Per Day”

  1. David Blackwell RN, BSN, CCM

    Had the governor simply asked people to stay home if symptomatic, we could’ve saved ourselves all this misery.

  2. Cannoneer2

    While we are having this Special Session…Remove the punishments for transporting liquor across state lines. No more possibility of a felony. Open up internet purchases as well. Promote freedom!!

  3. LM

    Governor DeSantis didn’t need a special session. Governor Abbott didn’t need a special session. I think the two of them have a rare medical condition. It’s called testicles.

  4. Steve Allen

    A very small price to pay if the result is continued assurance of our Constitutional freedoms and protection from the blatant over reach of the democratic controlled federal government. If Tennessee finished the fiscal year with a 3.1 billion surplus we can afford it.

    The plandemic has turned into nothing more than the further attempt by the left to control every aspect of Americans lives. There is so much evidence to refute the constant fear mongering by the MSM and the federal government that only a fool still believes anything they say.

    1. 83ragtop50

      Steve Allen. You took the words right out of my mouth.

      Heck, Tennesseans could well save that much money simply by not being forced to buy worthless masks.

  5. Randy

    30K a day would keep the house in session for 242 days if you simply calculated what Cherokee Healthcare improperly billed TennCare. It’s unfortunate that that the looney left is looking for more government funding of fraud by those in the Medicaid expansion industry.

  6. Kevin

    I suspected from the start that Sexton’s call for a special session this was just political theater, to help his 2026 run for Governor. And this confirms it!

    Speaker Sexton was only SPEAKING about calling for a special session. Something told me that he would never actually DO something to make it happen. And, he certainly would never ever think twice about going against his buddy and mentor Randy McNally.

    And, even though Tennessee taxpayers gave the State a $3 BILLION dollar surplus, Randy, Cameron, and Bill Lee won’t spend a small amount of it on making sure that ALL of our Tennessee kids get to go to school without wearing diapers on their faces!

    So, when you want to know why Tennessee has so many kids in certain geographic locations that can’t read at grade level, you can thank Randy McNally and Cameron Sexton. All you need to do is look behind the curtain.