If it weren’t for the California budget crisis, perhaps few would know or care that
state Sen. Ellen Corbett, D-San Leandro, is out of the country, experiencing the wonders that are India on a two-week trip with seven other state senators.
But, having missed much of the special legislative session on the state’s money meltdown, Corbett is cutting the overseas visit short, her chief of staff, Peggy Collins, said today, in order to rush home for Sunday’s planned floor sessions of the Senate and Assembly in Sacramento.
The trip, which started on Nov. 12 and was scheduled to end the day before Thanksgiving (Nov. 26), is sponsored by the California International Relations Foundation, a Senate program that organizes programs and trips to promote “economic and cultural relations” throughout the world, according to its Web site.
“It is a significant and important trip for California and the district,” Collins said, carefully avoiding any hint that the trip might be considered a vacation. High-tech businesses and educational institutions were on the senators’ tour itinerary. The trip originally was planned to coincide with a Legislative recess.
The foundation does raise money for overseas trips, and hosts visits here by international government representatives. Foundation directors include employees of major California law firms and corporations that lobby the state on behalf of their business interests.
The cost of the trip, and the breakdown of who paid for what, wasn’t available today. However, in trips of this type, sponsoring organizations and the legislators themselves usually pay the travel expenses.