March 12, 2014 •
Georgia Lawmakers and Lobbyists Work with New Ethics Law
Georgia lawmakers and lobbyists are adapting new gift limits to old reporting methods while the ethics commission attempts to draft rules. House Bill 142 established the first-ever limit on lobbyist spending by capping the value of a gift a lobbyist could give a lawmaker at $75.
The bill, effective January 1, 2014, has several exceptions including one to remove the $75 cap for any caucus approved by the House or Senate ethics committees.
Once approved as a caucus, the members can accept a gift greater than $75 without everyone in a caucus attending a dinner, so long as the entire group is invited. Even before committee approval, delegations and more traditional caucuses began accepting expensive meals from lobbyists, leaving lobbyists to figure out how to disclose the spending.
The Georgia Government Transparency and Campaign Finance Commission is still months away from unveiling rules governing the new ethics law.
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