Virginia legislators list tax-paid travel, gifts – Including ALEC Paid Conferences

From Virginia’s News Advance.com by Ray Reed…

Virginia lawmakers who hold membership in ALEC and other organizations, have been receiving reimbursement for expensive travel and hotel accommodations for attending predominantly conservative functions.

“The busiest travelers among the Lynchburg area’s delegation to the General Assembly are Dels. Kathy Byron and Lacey Putney, according to personal finance statements they reported during the past three years.

“Byron also said she took a trip to Taiwan, sponsored by its cultural office, that she didn’t report because Virginia taxpayers didn’t pay for it.

“Putney and Byron both filed statements of economic interests with the House of Delegates for trips they made to conferences held by the American Legislative Exchange Council, which describes itself as a think tank that helps state lawmakers deal with public-policy issues and solutions.

“The trip to Taiwan that Byron didn’t report occurred in 2012, and three other Virginia legislators took the trip with her.

“Other travel, listed on local legislators’ disclosure forms, included the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) conferences.

Taxpayers paid about $2,300 for three ALEC trips, one by Putney in 2010 and two by Byron in 2011 and 2012. The trips cost more than that, but the council’s corporate sponsors also cover part of the expenses. The ALEC conferences were held in Phoenix, Salt Lake City, San Diego and Washington.

About 35 Virginia lawmakers are members of ALEC, although not all of them attend its meetings. House Speaker William Howell, R-Spotsylvania County, is a member of the ALEC board of directors.

Byron said she has attended ALEC’s meetings for several years and is now chairwoman of its innovation and technology committee, focusing on topics such as data-storage centers like a Microsoft facility that was built in Mecklenburg County two years ago.”

Read the full News Advance article -> HERE <-