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Representative Walt Blackman Introduces A Bill On The Heels Of An Audit Of NAU President Rita Cheng

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Representative Walt Blackman has introduced a bill that says a public official may not exceed the cost of coach airfare when traveling for business. HB 2251 says reimbursement for airfare may not exceed the cost of coach airfare and may not include any upgrades, such as business class or first class seating. The bill comes on the heels of a state audit that found NAU President Rita Cheng improperly documented a total of $40-thousand dollars in travel expenses during Fiscal Year 2019. Cheng says she will reimburse the Northern Arizona University Foundation for the difference between coach and business-class tickets. The Arizona Office of the Auditor General released a report earlier this month. The bill also says only public officials and public employees are eligible for reimbursement by a public entity. The bill is awaiting committee assignment.