Gregoire short on cost estimate for Europe trip

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OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) -- Washington state's European trade mission in June cost the state nearly $100,000, more than twice the price Gov. Chris Gregoire estimated before the journey.

Expense reports reviewed by The Associated Press show Gregoire's hotel room in Paris cost nearly $500 per night while travelers at times received per diems that estimated $84 dinners and $56 lunches. Gregoire had estimated that the state would pay less than $40,000 for the work, but her estimate didn't include the cost of her Washington State Patrol security detail.

Gregoire spokesman Cory Curtis says the trip was organized to keep costs down, including a schedule designed to fit in as many events as possible. Other states racked up higher bills.

Gregoire says the air show provided invaluable opportunities to meet with aerospace leaders.