– News covered by Quincy Quarry News.
Beacon Hill lawmakers make the most of their travel options, especially a loophole.
Members of the Massachusetts House of Representatives and State Senate have racked up about 3,000 traveling days since January 2013 per an exposé published by the Boston broadsheet.
Granted, surely at least some of these freebie foreign trips taken by Beacon Hill lawmakers are legitimately tied (to varying degrees, ed.) to their official business.
But then there are the “jackpot junkets” – the ones that are hard to explain beyond the fact that they are largely paid for by others.
In any event, the broadsheet names names and the places around the world where state legislators have visited someone else’s dime and many due to a “galactic-sized loophole” in state ethics regulations.
Also, see the broadsheet’s map of the frequent flyers’ travel destinations.
Records indicate that State Senator Marc R. Pacheco (Democrat, Tauton) seems to be the king of travel, spending the “equivalent of eight months — at least 240 days — traveling to give speeches, attend conferences, and tour foreign countries, according to his disclosures” over the past six years.
While the head of one watchdog group is defending the trips if they expose lawmakers to different cultures, however, state legislators do not appear to all that interested in learning about cultures in Africa and South America.
Rather, they appear to be more interested in Europe, China and other exotic locations.A Getty Images image