Sens. Mike Bell, R-Riceville, Bill Ketron, R-Murfreesboro, and Rep. Jay Reedy, R-Erin, used campaign money to pay for passports.
The trio spent $621 on those passports in 2016, according to the findings of an ongoing USA TODAY NETWORK-Tennessee analysis of how lawmakers use their campaign coffers. Reedy paid $110; Bell spent $140 and Ketron used $371 in donor money to cover the cost of the passports.
The amount of money in question pales in comparison to other expenses uncovered in the analysis. But any use of campaign money needs to pass a test in order to be considered legitimate, said Brendan Fischer, the federal and FEC reform program director with the Campaign Legal Center, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit advocacy group
If someone would likely make such a purchase regardless of being a lawmaker, then it may be prohibited, he said.