Jackson, Miss. The state department created to help disabled Mississippi residents sent 17 people to a conference in New York last month.
The Clarion-Ledger reports that the Department of Rehabilitation Services bill is incomplete but at least $30,000.
Department Director Butch McMillan says he approved travel for so many to the National Rehabilitation Association only because one staffer was being named its president-elect.
But records show 17 DRS employees attended the same conference in Chicago last year, 13 went to the conference in 2011 in Salt Lake City, and four went to the association's annual board meeting in Chicago.
Although McMillan says the association is more for counselors than administrators, he went on all four trips.
DRS spends well over $1 million a year on in-state and out-of-state travel.