Gov. Edwards to pay for trip to Rome, state to pay for bodyguards

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) – Only part of Gov. John Bel Edwards’ trip to meet the Pope in Rome will be paid by Louisiana’s taxpayers.

The governor’s office said Edwards will personally pay travel costs for him and his wife on the weeklong trip that begins Friday. The costs of the governor’s state police bodyguards will be paid by the state.

Edwards announced the trip late Thursday, saying he will meet with an order of nuns working to combat human trafficking and talk about the effort with Pope Francis.

Louisiana State Police Col. Mike Edmonson and his wife, Senate President John Alario and Sen. Ronnie Johns and his wife also will travel to Italy. The state isn’t expected to pay travel expenses for any of them.

The group returns to Louisiana on Jan. 20.

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