GOP-led states skipping payments to governors association
February 24th, 2011
03:20 PM ET
12 years ago

GOP-led states skipping payments to governors association

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.

soundoff (14 Responses)
  1. grrace

    Not only are the GOP crooks, they're cheap too.

    February 24, 2011 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  2. DemoCommunists for a Better Way - Bankruptcy

    I guess the word hasn't reached the clueless Democrat governors that there is a fiscal crisis in every state! They don't know what the words "cut back" and "reduce spending" mean. They are most likely dropouts from the failed union staffed public school systems.

    February 24, 2011 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  3. Anonymous

    With Skype and other internet based conference features why are they wasting taxpayer dollars on these trips? I know more is accomplished in person, but it's not like they are doing real business there. No state is going to buy goods or open new plants because they met with another states Governor.

    February 24, 2011 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  4. Lori in St Pete

    They don't have the taxpayer $$$ for their NGA dues because they blew it all on the RGA, and by doing so are totally NOT representing ALL citizens – just those who vote R. That's wrong and it's time for the Dems to stand up to them.

    February 24, 2011 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  5. gt

    good ... most of the meetings are good for nothing and about nothing... there a chance for the officials to get drunk.. and have a good time at the parties....on the tax payers dime...

    February 24, 2011 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  6. S. In California

    ALL of a sudden they are showing concern for overspending. Give me a break.... It's enough to make me sick to my stomach.

    February 24, 2011 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  7. cf

    I didn't even know this was a thing. Now I am furious that my state is not among those skipping payment, as our GOP governor has cut everything across the board in our state: we now have roads that will not get repaired and schools that are being forced to close, all so the governor can save money to send to this crooked organization??

    February 24, 2011 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  8. vegas01

    Bravo! Why should they spend that money for due to an association instead of using it to balance the budget and spare layoffs or other cuts.
    Leave it to CNN to criticize good judgment.

    February 24, 2011 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  9. Blink

    Why bother with the NGA when you can participate in the RGA. GOP governors don't need any bad habits from the NGA and they can save their state money. Good for them.

    February 24, 2011 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  10. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Are they paying their RGA dues and not their NGA dues?
    More signs of Party first folks.
    Yet another snub at sharing ideas with folks across the aisle that could benefit the country as a WHOLE. I presume this would be one of the primary purposes of the NGA.
    While it is true said exchange could take place with video conferencing, the same could be said for the RGA. Oh, but then they wouldn't be able to attend those fabulously extavagant bondage-theme parties.
    Got it.

    February 24, 2011 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  11. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Governors have always spent taxpayers money like drunken sailors even while they live like Kings in their State funded rent free mansions and then have the balls to take away the rights of middle class workers. Skipping payments to the Governors association is nothing but a small token and trust me it's not a token in good faith.

    February 24, 2011 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  12. Dumbasrocks [R]s

    You sniveling rightwingers need to get a clue. Yes, the [D]s do realize that there is a fiscal crisis in every state, that's because it is a NATIONAL CRISIS, you morons! And furthermore it is a national crisis brought on by 8 years of unchecked [R]egressive policy based on a disproven ideology. And yet you slack-jawed neo-morons keep wanting that [R] FAILURE back in office.

    While the [D]s are fixing YOUR problems, many of you are stupid enough to believe the fairytales on FuxNews to the point that you actually invite even more [R] FAILURE. The gene pool is extremely shallow on that end...hopefully its heading for extinction.

    February 24, 2011 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  13. Bill

    or they could just increase income tax in their state like the crooked dems have done here in Illinois.

    February 24, 2011 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  14. NVa Native

    The crisis is caused by the Repubs giving tax subsidies to the wealthy eltists and large corporations while they sent union and middle class jobs over seas.
    The GOP lies can't cover-up this truth/fact.

    February 24, 2011 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |