Disney trip puts Dedeaux in hot seat

Democratic State Rep. Dirk Dedeaux is taking heat from the GOP because he went to Walt Disney World while a six-member team he was a part of was at the Capitol working on a large state budget bill.

Dedeaux, D-Sellers, said a desk mate likely marked him present Tuesday when lawmakers returned to try to finish the state budget, though he was en route to the theme park with his wife and two children. Dedeaux said he’d first learned he was marked present when he was told it was being made an issue, so Wednesday he notified the House Clerk’s Office he was incorrectly marked present. He said he doesn’t know who pushed the button to have him counted present.

As House of Representatives Medicaid Committee chair, Dedeaux was a conferee on the “Budget Reconciliation Act of 2009” which contains Medicaid issues and other parts of the state budget. But the trip had been planned for months and was nonrefundable, he said.