Columbus, Ohio (AP) -- A newspaper report shows state workers traveled abroad and stayed at expensive resorts last year, despite an executive order by Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland banning non-essential trips.
The Columbus Dispatch reported Sunday that state workers traveled to Germany, Belgium and Hawaii, among other places in the U.S. and overseas.
The newspaper reported that workers stayed at posh resorts, including Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort in Orlando, Fla., and Harrah's in Las Vegas.
They stayed in rooms costing up to $300 a night.
Agency officials say the travel was essential. Strickland's office says travel expenses declined from $24.4 million in 2007 to $19.2 million last year.
The governor issued the order in January 2008. Ohio faces an estimated $3.2 billion budget gap over the next two years.
(Copyright 2009 by the Associated Press. All rights reserved.)