The Minneapolis Park and Recreation has banned paying for travel to Indiana by its employees -- as long as it doesn't cost the park system any money.

The travel ban the board adopted Wednesday night doesn't kick in until May 1.

That's because otherwise the park system would stand to loose about $8,000 in plane fare and registrations for a management training program this month that eight employees are already booked for. Half of the employees are finishing the multi-year program at Indiana University; the other group is starting this year but will have to wait to complete the training until after the ban lapses, if they want the Park Board to pay.

The ban is in place until there is a repeal of the controversial Religious Freedom Restoration Act enacted in Indiana. It was proposed by Commissioner John Erwin. He originally also proposed that the park system not do business with Indiana-based businesses, but dropped that after concern was expressed that such a move would violate state bidding law.

(Photo: John Erwin)