Legislative Travel - 2013

By Jeremy B. White
Published: Tuesday, Mar. 4, 2014 – 11:00 pm
Last Modified: Tuesday, Mar. 4, 2014 – 11:11 pm

They toured renewable energy projects in Scandinavia, attended panels on public safety in Maui and learned about how dentists are trained in New York City.

California lawmakers were treated to more than $550,000 in travel-related expenses in 2013, according to an analysis by The Sacramento Bee. Much of the travel was funded by foreign governments, foundations fueled by corporate and labor money and nonprofits tied to specific industries.

That far exceeds the total sum in 2012, when outside organizations bestowed about $329,000 worth of travel expenses on lawmakers. The most costly Assembly travelers in 2013 included Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez, D-Los Angeles ($30,354) and Assemblyman Travis Allen, R-Huntington Beach ($23,116). Topping the Senate list were Sen. Ricardo Lara, D-Bell Gardens ($30,373), and Sen. Kevin de León, D-Los Angeles ($20,157).

Domestically, lawmakers soaked up sunshine at policy conferences in Hawaii, toured the hydraulic fracturing industry in North Dakota and flew to New York for an “oral health education forum,” courtesy of a dental industry nonprofit.

One lawmaker was compensated for a pair of trips to Washington, D.C., for symposiums put on by the American Legislative Exchange Council, an organization that has attracted attention for drafting blueprints for conservative state legislation. Others attended a two-day golf tournament and policy seminar put on by the formidable California Correctional Peace Officers Association.

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