- Associated Press - Tuesday, January 24, 2017

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - New data show Gov. Gary Herbert’s inauguration cost about $50,000 and was paid for with private donations and public money.

That’s similar to what most recent inaugurations have cost, with the exception of Jon Huntsman Jr.’s elaborate three-day bash in 2005 topping $100,000.

About $40,000 of the cost of Herbert’s Jan. 4 inauguration at the state Capitol was paid for with public funds, according to a list of expenses provided to The Associated Press by the governor’s office.

The rest, about $12,000, was picked up by his political action committee, Friends Of Gary R. Herbert PAC.

Though the state pays most of the costs, Herbert’s spokesman Paul Edwards said donated services helped keep costs low, “and we’re very appreciative of all the people that provided that kind of service.”

Utah’s inaugurations are just a fraction of the cost of Friday’s inauguration of President Donald Trump, which involved a record $90 million-plus in private donations and millions more in public money.

The event in Utah also appears to be on the lower range among governor’s swearing-in parties around the country.

A 2015 survey by the AP found that other governors’ inaugurations range from lavish black-tie galas paid for by donations or expensive entry tickets to pared-down, daytime receptions at state capitols.

In Utah this year, Herbert’s office reported government spending included about $6,400 for teleprompters, paid for by the governor’s office.

The state Capitol Preservation Board, which manages the Capitol building in Salt Lake City, spent almost $18,000 on draping and decor and about $15,000 on audio.

Herbert’s political action committee paid more than $9,000 on a catered reception for politicians and guests at the Capitol following the ceremony, $65 on makeup for the governor and lieutenant governor and $3,200 to print invitations and programs.

Herbert’s office said it did not have an estimate of the value of all donated services. KUED-TV, which provided a video pool feed and lighting, said the event cost the public broadcast station about $30,000, but that’s paid for by money set aside by the University of Utah.


Follow Michelle L. Price at https://twitter.com/michellelprice

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