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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- Lawmakers set aside $18,000 for what they say is an important trade mission to China this summer. Turns out that won't even cover the airfare.
The lawmakers are slated to travel on a "sister state" trip to an industrial province in China. They say it could bolster economic ties and strengthen diplomatic relations.
But airfare for the trip for 14 legislators and two staffers came to $26,000.
The costs went up because legislative leaders decided to expand the delegation from 10 to 14 and pushed the trip back from May to July, which is the tourist season.
Republican leaders say they will make up the difference by traveling less and participate in fewer national conferences for the rest of the fiscal year.
But some lawmakers have become increasing skeptical of the trip's value for taxpayers. A few legislators who planned to go have now backed out.
Information from: The Salt Lake Tribune
(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)