Where in the World Are Our State Lawmakers?

Lawmakers are overseas during financial crisis

With California in financial straits and a special session on the budget scheduled to be underway more than a dozen state lawmakers are on trips around the world.

Among those missing in action from the special session are four Bay Area lawmakers.

Sen. Ellen Corbett of San Leandro is in India while Sen. Tom Torlakson of Antioch is in China and so is San Francisco Assemblywoman Fiona Ma while Assemblyman Ira Ruskin of Redwood City is in India. He sits on the assembly budget committee.

Another absent key lawmaker is Senate Budget Chair Denise Ducheny of San Diego.

She is also in India.

Government watchdog groups wonder if those lawmakers have their priorities straight.

"If a company were going bankrupt that would not be the time for the CEO of a company to be halfway around the world on a junket," said one person from a watchdog group.

There are so many empty chairs that sessions are postponed until Sunday, giving those missing lawmakers time to return to the Capitol.

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