Fact Check: Exact Cost of Missouri Special Session on Abortion

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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -– Missourians are questioning the cost of Gov. Eric Greitens’ special session on abortion now that it’s over.

There’s about a million dollar difference between what some outlets estimated and what the governor claims it costs. Others, say no matter the money, it’s better spent elsewhere.

KOLR10 contacted the Missouri House and Senate to find out, down to the penny, how much Missouri’s taxpayers paid for the special session.

The controversial special session on Missouri abortion law ended Wednesday.

“This special session is really important for us to get done,” Greitens said.

Now that it’s done, the controversy has switched to its cost. Many are estimating tens of thousands of dollars a day.

The Kansas City Star, at one point, estimated $1.2 million if the session lasted two months. Greitens now says the actual cost will come closer to $80,000 for a month and a half’s work.

To find the exact numbers, KOLR10 reached out to the Missouri House and Senate. The total cost for the Missouri House was $31,678.10. The final cost for the Missouri Senate was $60,097.16, totaling $91,775.26. Capitol officials said the cost covers mileage, per diem and staffing.

Gov. Greitens posted to Facebook Tuesday afternoon, saying it’s money well-spent.

“Reasonable people could disagree with me, and that’s okay,” he said. “Reasonable people cannot, however, claim that the special session costs more than $1 million. That’s not a disagreement. It’s a lie.”

The Kansas City Star issued a correction two hours later on its website.

“As the session draws to a close, it’s clear our estimate was far too high,” the Star said.

Some Facebook users, like Tani Wyatt Daumas, say the money spent, no matter how much, would’ve been better spent elsewhere.

“Do you know how far $80,000 could go in providing healthcare and birth control to women in need?” she commented on Facebook.

Others, like Mike Jones, praised the governor’s work.

“We have the greatest Governor in America!” Jones wrote on Facebook.

Now that the final numbers are in, it will be up to the rest of Missouri’s taxpayers to decide the special session’s value.

Even though the session lasted about a month and a half, lawmakers were physically at the capitol for nine days, averaging a cost of about $10,000 a day. Officials say that’s because senators were only there when they absolutely needed to be, in an effort to keep the cost down.

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