State lawmakers enjoyed more than half-million dollars in paid travel expenses last year -- far exceeding a $330,000 tab that was picked up in 2012.

The Sacramento Bee says most of the expenses were picked up by foreign governments, and foundations backed by corporate and labor interests.

Legislators toured a hydraulic fracturing facility in North Dakota and a dental symposium in New York.

Others went a bit further -- to Switzerland, Poland, Norway, Taiwan, Israel, China, Armenia, Sweden, Canada and South Korea.