California senator wants disclosure of lawmakers’ free trips


By James Poulos | Cal Watchdog

Year in and year out, California lawmakers take advantage of one area where freebies are legal: travel. In 2013, they racked up more than half a million dollars in trips subsidized by “foreign governments, foundations fueled by corporate and labor money and nonprofits tied to specific industries,” according to the Sacramento Bee. The outlay represents a rise of over $200,000 from the previous year’s expenditures.

This election year, however, that longstanding habit may be in for a change. State Sen. Jerry Hill, D-San Mateo, wants to ensure that nonprofits springing for legislators’ travel disclose their donors — not only to California’s Fair Political Practices Commission, but to the public at large. As the Los Angeles Times reports, Senate Bill 831 aims to prevent undue influence from flourishing under cover of the current broadly-tailored rules.

at Cal Watchdog.