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Should Pols Running for Higher Office Pay Their Own Security?

Ben Philpott, KUT News

Future presidential candidates from Texas may have to foot the bill for their own security on the campaign trail.

Gov. Rick Perry’s unsuccessful run at the White House last year cost taxpayers $3.7 million. And state Rep. Lyle Larson, R-San Antonio, said at a House committee meeting today that the cost of non-state-related security is a burden to Texans.

“All of the other candidates that were running on the Republican side had security, and they paid for it themselves,” Larson said. “But our governor, we paid for his expenses, and I would just ask y’all to look at it from the perspective of the taxpayer.”

Larson’s bill would require officials who travel out of state on personal or non-state political business to file any non-state travel expenses with the Texas Ethics Commission and repay the amount with interest.

“It’s about reforming a system that we all agree from a common-sense perspective, that if you’re not involved in state-related business, there’s no reason for us to pay those expenses,” he said.

The House Committee on State Affairs left the bill pending for later discussion.

Andrew Weber is a general assignment reporter for KUT, focusing on criminal justice, policing, courts and homelessness in Austin and Travis County. Got a tip? You can email him at Follow him on Twitter @England_Weber.
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