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Monday, January 21, 2013 - 1:00am

GA Governments Hire Lobbyists

When residents want to influence state policy, they can call their Georgia lawmaker. When their local governments want influence, they hire a lobbyist.

Despite having elected lawmakers, some Georgia communities have turned to lobbyists to represent their interests at the Statehouse.

Small towns in north Georgia hired a former state lawmaker to seek money for local improvements like sidewalks and biking trails. Savannah has long had a lobbyist to fight for local funding and block moves that city authorities view as harmful.

Fulton County officials recently decided to act as their own lobbyists, rather than paying others to do it. Cobb County officials are debating whether they need a lobbyist, while their colleagues in DeKalb County are considering which one to hire.