Washington (CNN) - A handful of Republican governors are declining to pay their annual dues to the National Governors Association as they seek ways to trim state government costs in a down economy.
The NGA, a bipartisan organization of the nation's governors that meets twice a year to discuss issues of public policy and governance, is holding its annual winter meeting in Washington this weekend.
Most of the country's governors are expected to travel to the nation's capital for that conference and other partisan gatherings sponsored by the Democratic and Republican Governors Associations.
But at least three states – Texas, South Carolina and Idaho – will not pay their annual NGA dues this year, which can range from $22,000 to $176,200, and are likely to skip NGA functions.
NGA spokeswoman Jodi Omear would not disclose information on specific states, but said in an e-mail that "members are in good standing with the association when their annual dues are paid."
The amount owed to the governors association varies from state to state according to a "tiered system," Omear told CNN.
For South Carolina, the cost is over $100,000.
"South Carolina is facing a tough budget year, and the governor simply doesn't believe that in a time when we're focused on returning government to its core functions we should spend more than $100,000 in tax dollars on NGA dues," said Rob Godfrey, a spokesman for Gov. Nikki Haley.
As for Idaho, a spokesman for Gov. Butch Otter said travel costs to Washington and NGA dues totaled roughly $70,000. This will be the second year Otter has refused to pay the dues, Otter spokesman Jon Hanian told CNN.
"We just couldn't afford it given that the governor early on indicated that we were going to be scrutinizing travel costs a lot more closely," Hanian said. "We figured we could do a lot of what we were doing over the phone."
Texas Gov. Rick Perry will also be passing on the NGA payment. A spokesman for the governor, who chairs the Republican Governors Association, said he "withdrew membership several years ago."
Haley, Otter and Perry are traveling to Washington this weekend to participate in RGA-related events.