14 Ariz. lawmakers took 9-day Europe trip sponsored in part by lobbyists and more are coming

House officials were was unable to provide individual and total costs to send the lawmakers on the trip a week after The Arizona Republic requested the information; officials said they hoped to share that information soon.

By Ray Stern || Arizona Republic

Arizona lawmakers earn a $24,000 annual salary, but sometimes there are perks.

Last month, 14 Arizona lawmakers took a free trip to Germany, where they celebrated the opening of a trade office in Frankfurt, met government and business officials, and enjoyed a leisurely weekend in Berlin.

Lobbyist firms and state taxpayers funded the lawmakers’ expenses as part of a new, $750,000 Arizona House of Representatives international relations program that will fund more such trips over the next few years. Officials said they see the trips as an investment that’s likely to reap benefits as foreign businesses and visitors come to Arizona.

House officials were was unable to provide individual and total costs to send the lawmakers on the trip a week after The Arizona Republic requested the information; officials said they hoped to share that information soon.

Spouses of the lawmakers were allowed to join the lawmakers but had to pay their own airfare. Before going to Germany, several members of the delegation also went to Italy, where they met Cindy McCain, who works as U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Agencies in Rome.

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