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Resigning North Dakota senator led lawmakers in travel costs

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — A North Dakota state senator who is resigning following a report about text messages he exchanged with an inmate ran up travel expenses the past decade that are more than 14 times what lawmakers bill state taxpayers on average, according to a review by The Associated Press.

Republican Ray Holmberg, the Legislature’s longest-serving senator, has made taxpayer-funded trips to four dozen U.S. cities, China, Canada and several countries in Europe, the AP’s review of travel records showed. He was reimbursed about $126,000 for nearly 70 trips – all out of state – from 2013 through mid-April of 2022.

The 229 lawmakers who served during that period accounted for more than $2 million in travel, or about $8,700 per lawmaker – putting Holmberg’s total many times above the average as he went everywhere from Norway to New Orleans and Portland, Oregon, to Puerto Rico.

Holmberg

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