Louisiana legislators clipped Gov. Bobby Jindal’s wings Thursday by inserting wording into the state budget that would require the governor’s office to pay the out-of-state travel expenses of his security detail.
Jindal spent almost 45 percent of 2014 outside Louisiana attending political events. He has kept up the pace so far in 2015 and since forming a presidential exploratory committee early this week, is likely to continue his aggressive travel schedule.
The amendment would move $2.5 million from Jindal’s office to the State Police, thereby requiring the governor to cut his office budget to offset the loss of that money.
The House voted 55-35 for the amendment sponsored by Democratic Rep. Ted James, of Baton Rouge.
House Appropriations Committee Chairman Jim Fannin, R-Jonesboro, opposed the amendment with a smile.
During committee hearings Fannin grilled Jindal aides and Louisiana State Police officials about the travel and how it was paid for. State Police said it spent just about $2.2 million on travel expenses.
Jindal spokesman Mike Reed issued a statement to Associated Press saying: “We appreciate the work that State Police does for the Governor and his family every day and we’re grateful for their service. We leave all security determinations up to the State Police and we trust them to do their job.”
The state Senate now takes up the budget bill.