"Cost of retreats by legislators is questioned"

SACRAMENTO - Sequestered in private policy retreats at posh resorts in San Diego and Newport Beach, Assembly lawmakers billed taxpayers $2,000 for a Mexican buffet, $1,900 for shuttle van service, $26 for a pound of deluxe mixed nuts and $22 for valet parking.

And $42 for a dozen cookies.

The separate getaways for Democrats and Republicans cost at least $40,000, plus about $200 each in round-trip airfare for dozens of legislators and staff, according to receipts released yesterday by the Assembly Rules Committee...