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Newsom loves to bash red states. He’s now vacationing in one.

The governor left city final week as state lawmakers scattered for a monthlong summer season recess, however in contrast to earlier journeys, didn’t at first announce his whereabouts. News of the governor’s travels to Montana, first reported by CalMatters, instantly sparked backlash from his critics.

Newsom didn’t violate any legislation, even when he traveled with a safety element, in accordance to a California Highway Patrol official, and a Newsom spokesperson mentioned the governor paid for the journey to go to household and famous the ban doesn’t apply to private journey. But the holiday presents unlucky optics for a liberal firebrand.

The governor has loads of causes to journey to Montana: His in-laws stay there, and it’s the place he and First Partner Jennifer Siebel Newsom have been married. The two went as far as to identify their eldest daughter “Montana.”

At challenge is a state legislation, signed in 2016 by former Gov. Jerry Brown, which prohibits state-funded journey to states with legal guidelines that California deems as discriminating based mostly on sexual orientation or gender. Today that record consists of 22 states with a mixed inhabitants of round 135 million folks. The California Department of Justice, not the governor’s workplace, determines the record.

Montana landed on it final 12 months after enacting a pair of legal guidelines that barred transgender college students from becoming a member of college groups matching their gender identities and allowed companies to search exemptions from some legal guidelines beneath the auspices of non secular liberty, which LGBTQ advocates mentioned may open the door to discrimination.

California Attorney General Rob Bonta mentioned in a press release on the time that the Montana measures have been amongst “a recent, dangerous wave of discriminatory new bills signed into law in states across the country.”

Bonta added 5 states to the prohibited record that day. Florida was one other.

A spokesperson for the governor’s workplace mentioned Wednesday that the information reporting up to now reveals a “lack of understanding toward state policy” and conflates Newsom’s private trip with prohibited state-funded journey.

“Connecting the two is irresponsible and implies there is something untoward,” mentioned Erin Mellon, the governor’s communications director, mentioned in an electronic mail.

“This is a personal trip to visit family who live outside the state. We are not in the business of regulating where people have family or where they spend their vacation. Nor will we persecute them for visiting their family. The press shouldn’t either.”

When requested if the governor had traveled with a state safety element, Mellon mentioned she couldn’t remark due to safety considerations. Governors in the previous have typically traveled with California Highway Patrol officers performing as bodyguards.

The state’s journey ban wouldn’t apply to state-funded safety officers, a CHP consultant mentioned, citing an exception in the legislation for “the protection of public health, welfare, or safety” and a separate code part permitting legislation enforcement to present for the bodily safety of elected officers.

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