The Clarion-Ledger, 6/19/8

Mississippi taxpayers are footing the bill for more than $19 million in legislative expenses, including salaries and travel expenses, over a one-year period that ended in April, according to the state auditor’s annual report.

Last year, it cost more than $18 million in total expenses for state lawmakers, legislative pages, assistants and operating expenses.

Lawmakers’ salaries and travel expenses totaled more than $7.6 million for a three-month regular session that ended in April and a special session from last year.

The report, which addresses expenses from May 2007 through April of this year, does not include the cost of the special session that began May 21. It has cost taxpayers $350,000 so far, and lawmakers will resume the session June 26.