Capitol Alert
The latest on California politics and government
March 27, 2013

At least two groups of lawmakers are spending their spring recess from the Capitol on overseas trips underwritten by outside groups.

Six lawmakers and the president of the Public Utilities Commission are in Poland on an eight-day trip paid for by the California Foundation on the Environment and Economy, a nonprofit group bankrolled by dozens of donors, including labor, energy, environmental and telecommunications interests.

In a separate trip, a nine-member delegation of the Assembly, including GOP leader Connie Conway, is in Taiwan to promote bilateral exchanges in trade and culture.

Lawmakers took $329,000 in free trips last year, according to financial disclosure statements filed in March.

The Taiwan trip was outlined in a release from Taiwan’s government-run Central News Agency. It precedes Gov. Jerry Brown’s trade mission to China, which has longstanding strained relations with its island neighbor Taiwan. Brown leaves for China on April 8.

The group includes Conway, of Tulare, and Susan Bonilla, D-Concord. The March 23-29 trip is funded by the government of Taiwan’s Taipei Economic and Cultural Office and will include a meeting with Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou, according to the release.

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