Governor Deal is set to sign major legislation Monday morning at the State Capitol. He has just two days left to sign new bills into law. Two yet-unsigned measures involve ethics reform.
One measure that passed this past legislative session will limit lobbyists’ spending on individual lawmakers to $75 per expenditure. But critics and supporters alike say it contains exceptions that may undermine the intent to rein in lobbyists’ power.
Last week Governor Deal said he plans to sign the measure into law. He told the Atlanta Press Club the legislation is a significant step in ethics reform, but not the final step.
He said “I do believe that there will be at least a good debate about whether or not some of the provisions should be tweaked. But I will not attempt to dictate to the legislative body because the rules will apply to them. They won’t apply to me. I have the authority to set the rules that apply to the executive branch of government, which I have done.”
The Governor said he won’t try to dictate changes to lawmakers come next year.
“I do respect the separation of powers and the authority of the legislative branch to fix its own rules. And that’s what they have done. Both the Senate internal rules and now the statute that affects both bodies.” Deal said.
The other ethics bill tightens campaign finance reporting. Both laws are scheduled to take effect January first.