January 20, 2016 •
Nebraska Senator Seeks to End Lobbyist-Paid Lunches During Session
State Sen. Ernie Chambers introduced a resolution to prevent lobbyist-provided meals from influencing legislators. The resolution, Legislative Resolution 414, prohibits lobbyists from providing meals to legislators inside the Capitol while the legislature is in session. Last year, catering bills, paid for by lobbyists, exceeded $10,000.
Nebraska law currently limits gifts from lobbyists at $50 per month to senators and their immediate families, but meals and beverages do not count toward the limit when the lobbyist is present at the event.
Defending the tradition of a serving line during the final weeks of the session, Speaker Galen Hadley dismisses the idea of food influencing how a senator votes. Sen. Chambers believes the practice creates the appearance of impropriety and should be ended.
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