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Chafee traveling on the cheap to Pittsburgh, spokeswoman says

October 4, 2011

Governor Chafee’s latest economic fact-finding trip, to Pittsburgh, will cost taxpayers less than $300, according to Chafee’s spokeswoman, Christine Hunsinger.

Hunsinger says the governor is paying his own way for the day trip. She says she believes lunch is being provided by the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.

The state expense for the journey — put by Hunsinger at $238.80 — reflects the cost of round-trip airfare for Chafee’s chief of staff, Patrick Rogers, and a state police escort. (States typically get discounts on airfare because of bulk-buying.)

Private citizens on the outing are responsible for paying their own way, Hunsinger says, and travel expenses for representatives of other communities, like Providence Mayor Angel Taveras and economic development director Jim Bennett, are not being paid by the state.

Chafee’s administration calls the Pittsburgh trip the latest attempt to glean ideas from other cities “that have successfully developed urban areas centered around educational institutions and the medical, research and life-sciences industries.”

Joining Governor Chafee in Pittsburgh will be: Providence Mayor Angel Taveras; Senate Majority Leader Dominick Ruggerio; House Majority Leader Nicholas Mattiello; Dr. Edward Wing, Dean of Medicine and Biological Sciences, Brown University; I-195 Commission Chairman Colin Kane; Marissa Quinn, Brown University; Dr. Timothy Babineau, President & CEO, Rhode Island Hospital; RIEDC Executive Director Keith Stokes; Jon Duffy, Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce; Rich Horan, the Slater Fund; Michael Sabitoni, Local Union 271; Allan Tear, Betaspring; George Nee, AFL-CIO; James Bennett, Economic Development Director, City of Providence; UPMC representatives.

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