Out of state travel amendment would make Gov. Jindal pay for it out of pocket

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - A majority of state lawmakers voted on Thursday to make the governor pay for his travel expenses.

Representative Ted James offered up an amendment to the House this morning that would make Governor Jindal pay out of his own pocket to travel out of state.

It's a hot item being added to the House's $24 billion budget proposal. The restriction looks like another indication that lawmakers are frustrated with Governor Jindal.

Right now, the governor's travel expenses come from money that goes to State Police, who protect him when he leaves Louisiana. Troopers say the governor racked up over $2 million in travel costs over a nine month period between last summer and this spring.

"This will be an inter-agency transfer from the executive office to state police for the $2.5 million for out of state travel while he campaigns and ignores the needs of the people of Louisiana," said Rep. James, D-Baton Rouge.

There was objection from the budget's author, Representative Jim Fannin, but despite that, the vote was 55 to 35 in favor of the measure. State police say out of state travel expenses have soared since Governor Jindal took office back in 2008.

And now that political analysts say he's likely running for president, the governor's flights will not be grounded anytime soon. Governor Jindal is scheduled to speak in Oklahoma City at a Republican convention one day after the ammendment passed the house.

"We appreciate the work that State Police does for the Governor and his family every day and we're grateful for their service. We leave all security determinations up to the State Police and we trust them to do their job," said Shannon Dirmann, Deputy Communications Director for Gov. Jindal.

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