Arkansas governor: Outside groups paid for $32K in travel

February 1, 2022 GMT

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson has reported that outside groups paid for more than $32,000 of his travel expenses outside the state last year.

Hutchinson reported the trips on his annual statement of financial interest filed last week. Monday was the deadline for state elected officials to file the forms, which detail their income as well as gifts they received.

More than a third of the travel Hutchinson reported was covered by the Arkansas Economic Development Foundation, which paid more than $11,000 for his trade mission to Israel last year. The foundation also paid travel expenses for trips he took to Texas and California.

The state Republican Party paid nearly $8,600 for a trip Hutchinson took to Nashville for a Republican Governors Association. The RGA spent more than $7,800 combined for travel expenses for Hutchinson for the Nashville trip, the group’s annual conference in Phoenix and an executive roundtable in Colorado.

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Other groups paying for trips included the National Governors Association, which Hutchinson chairs, and America Strong and Free, an advocacy group the Republican governor formed last year.

Aside from the travel expenses, Hutchinson reported about $7,600 worth of gifts that he and first lady Susan Hutchinson received last year. They include an honorary membership to Pinnacle Country Club valued at $2,771. The first lady received $2,800 in attire from Michael Toccin, who the governor’s office identified as a longtime friend of the Hutchinson family.