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Monday, February 21, 2011

Nixon Racks Up 254 Trips Totaling $388,513, Only 7 Paid by Governor's Office

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Gov. Nixon racks up $400,000 in travel expenses in two years

BY REBECCA BERG  St. Louis Post-Dispatch 
Monday, February 21, 2011
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JEFFERSON CITY •The governor has spent nearly $400,000 on travel since the beginning of 2009, but you wouldn't know it from his official budget.
That's because the office of Gov. Jay Nixon has charged nearly all travel expenses to state departments, arguing that many of the trips were made on behalf of the departments and not the governor.
House officials, who have been looking into the matter with an eye on possibly cutting the budgets of the governor and other state officials, released the records late last week. The story was first reported by the Columbia Daily Tribune and KMOX.
Records kept by the Office of Budget and Planning show that, of 254 trips totaling $388,513, only seven were paid for by the governor's office. In addition, the costs associated with 41 separate trips were split between all departments, even when the trip appears to benefit one particular department or none at all.
One $6,751 trip to the National Governors Conference in Virginia was billed to all the state's departments; so too was the cost of a school bonds event, which took place over two days and had a price tag of more than $3,300.


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