Criticism of Governor Nixon’s travel arrangements hits the House floor as the body approves an amendment that would require those arrangements be made public through the state accountability portal.
Approval of the amendment sponsored by House Budget Committee Chairman Ryan Silvey, a Republican from Kansas City, comes on a unanimous vote: 155-0.
Silvey tells the body during floor debate that Governor Nixon’s office has billed various state departments a total of $400,000 for travel expenses, rather than paying for the travel out of the budget for the governor’s office. Silvey says it took months for him to obtain the information, which he says should be readily available to anybody. Silvey says the issue first surfaced when members of the Budget Committee questioned the travel budget requested by the governor’s office, a budget committee members thought was inadequate. Silvey says they later learned that the governor was traveling on the dime of state departments.
The governor’s office has justified the arrangement in the past by pointing out that department heads frequently fly or ride with the governor to events that specifically pertain to their departments.