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UPDATE: Ga. Senate Debating Bill to Limit Lobbyist Spending

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press
Georgia senators appear poised to rewrite part of House Speaker David Ralston

050331 - ATLANTA, GA - Speaker of the House Glenn Richardson (cq, R-Hiram) swings his gavel to adjourn the 2005 Legislative session sine die just before midnight Thursday, March 31, 2005. (BEN GRAY/AJC staff)

UPDATE

ATLANTA (AP) -- Georgia senators appear poised to rewrite part of House Speaker David Ralston's plan to limit lobbyist spending.

Members of the Senate Rules Committee heard several hours of testimony Tuesday about Ralston's plan, which would generally prohibit spending on individual state officials, including lawmakers.

Most of the people who testified criticized provisions that could force those belonging to nonprofit groups to register as lobbyists, even if they spend no money or very little money on lawmakers. Several senators expressed concerns about the provision.

In a concession, Rep. Rich Golick said that Ralston would be willing to waive the proposed $25 fee to get a lobbyist badge.

The Senate earlier adopted an internal rule prohibiting individual lawmakers from accepting gifts worth more than $100 from lobbyists. Ralston has called that plan weak.

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ATLANTA (AP) -- Georgia state senators will start debating a plan from House Speaker David Ralston to limit lobbyist spending.

Senators on the Rules Committee will hear testimony Tuesday on Ralston's plan, which would generally prohibit lobbyist spending on individual state officials, including lawmakers.

It contains several big exceptions. Lobbyists could still pay to wine and dine members of committees, caucuses or delegations. Lobbyists could also pay to send lawmakers on trips that are deemed related to their official duties. House lawmakers adopted that plan earlier this year.

The Senate has adopted an internal rule prohibiting individual lawmakers from accepting gifts worth more than $100 from lobbyists. Ralston has called that plan weak.

Senators must decide whether to approve the bill before the end of session on March 28.


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