We Paid For It: Are Lawmakers Traveling On Our Dime?


Saturday, October 29th 2011, 10:06 pm
By: News 9


Kelly Ogle, News 9

OKLAHOMA CITY -- Hundreds of thousands of our tax dollars have paid for state lawmakers to travel across the U.S. and internationally.

Our Oklahoma Impact Team told you last year some legislators went to Canada or Cuba. One even stayed at the Ritz Carlton, all on our dime.

During these tough economic times, we decided to find out if we're still paying for lavish lifestyles, in particular, for lame duck legislators. That's an elected official who has decided not to seek reelection or lost his or her seat.

Sixteen years ago, I learned we paid thousands for three lame duck legislators to take trips, to Alabama, California and New Orleans.

In our current budget crunch, we asked House and Senate leaders if any lame duck legislators made any out of state trips this year.

To my surprise, not only did they not, but neither did any active legislators. Lawmaker travel was suspended during the 2011 budget.

Of course, that could change in the upcoming 2012 session. We'll keep an eye on it.