Missouri Lawmakers Taking Fewer Privately Financed Trips
WASHINGTON (AP) - Missouri lawmakers in Congress are taking fewer trips paid for by private groups. Records show that only four of the state's nine House members took privately funded travel this year compared with seven in 2006. The decrease is part of a trend triggered by ethics scandals that brought greater scrutiny on the practice. Congressmen Kenny Hulshof, a Columbia Republican, and William Lacy Clay, a St. Louis Democrat, took three trips each this year, tied for most in the state. Groups promoting renewable fuels and farm interests paid more than $3,000 to fly Hulshof to conferences. Clay and his wife traveled to China for a week and a nonprofit group picked up the $24,000 tab. New House rules require lawmakers to seek advance approval for the trips.