Two North Idaho lawmakers topped spending on travel during this year’s legislative session, the AP reports today. Sen. Bob Nonini, R-Coeur d’Alene, had the highest in-state travel reimbursements, at nearly $8,800. Rep. Vito Barbieri, R-Dalton Gardens, had the highest combined in-state and out-of-state tab of $9,689, including $1,226 to attend an out-of-state American Legislative Exchange Council conference.
AP reporter Kimberlee Kruesi reports that Barbieri’s average plane ticket price to fly home to North Idaho on weekends was $439, while Rep. Ron Mendive, R-Coeur d’Alene, who represents the same district, spent an average of $235 to make the same trip. Nonini also had above-average flight expenses, at $460.
North Idaho lawmakers commonly fly back each weekend from Boise to Spokane, most on Southwest Airlines; options for flights include pricier classes of tickets that allow them to board earlier and get other perks. Eastern Idaho lawmakers commonly drive home on the weekends, racking up big mileage bills.
Kruesi reports that lawmakers put in for nearly $250,000 in travel expenses during the session, plus another $50,000 for out-of-state travel over the past fiscal year; you can read her full report here.