POLITICS

Virginia Senate panel rejects lawmaker travel restriction

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Politics,Local,Virginia,Associated Press,Ethics

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) -- A Senate committee has rejected legislation to require a little more accountability for Virginia lawmakers who travel at taxpayer expense.

On a voice vote Friday, the Rules Committee killed Sen. Don McEachin's proposal to prohibit compensation or expense reimbursement for legislators who attend conferences that do not make their agenda or materials readily available to the public.

Sen. Tommy Norment of James City County said it's best for the Senate to police itself and not try to tell the House of Delegates how to handle its travel. And Sen. Emmett Hanger of Augusta County said the bill could apply to leaflets and other materials distributed by vendors at conferences.

According to the Virginia Public Access Project, Hanger spent $5,688 on taxpayer-funded trips last year -- tops among the 140 legislators.

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