Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker made a secretive trip off the coast of Georgia earlier this month to attend an off-the-record conservative conference.
According to the Boston Globe, Baker's trip over the weekend of March 4, which was not disclosed in his schedule or by his staff, was to the "World Forum," a gathering hosted by the American Enterprise Institute.
The Globe reports the conference at one point covered the topic of presidential candidate Donald Trump's status as front runner for the GOP. It was attended by other high profile Republicans including Scott Walker and Karl Rove.
The latest news from around the state
Baker's communications director Tim Buckley ultimately confirmed the weekend trip and said the governor participated in a forum on the importance of "vocational technical education."
The Massachusetts Democratic Party condemned the trip, saying Baker is showing "a troubling pattern of secrecy" by "sneaking out of state to an exclusive, conservative confab using taxpayer resources."
Out-of-state trips generally tend to cost taxpayer money for security and other expenses.
Baker said Thursday that his office will notify the public in the future whenever he is traveling out of state.
While he isn't required to file any formal notice when he leaves the state, his absence does have leadership implications. Whenever a governor leaves the state, the lieutenant governor by law takes on the role of acting governor.
Baker made the announcement on his monthly "Ask The Governor" segment on WGBH-FM in the wake of the Globe story.