State House Speaker David Ralston says the ethics reform bill passed this week by his chamber is a historic step toward limiting lobbyists’ influence at the Capitol. Speaking at the Atlanta Press Club Tuesday, he defended some of the bill’s more controversial provisions.
A bill aimed at limiting lobbyists’ influence over Georgia lawmakers passed the state House Monday. The measure is a lobbyist gift ban, but ethics reformers say it has too many loopholes, and would force activists to register as lobbyists.
One of Georgia’s most powerful lawmakers proposed Tuesday a total ban on gifts from lobbyists to elected officials. The move represents a turnaround for House Speaker David Ralston, and watchdog groups say it could finally begin a frank discussion about ethics in Georgia.
Georgia lawmakers returned to the state Capitol Monday, and the Senate wasted no time in passing a gift cap as part of the chamber’s rules. It will bar lobbyists from spending more than $100 on any one Senator.
State lawmakers will again try to pass an ethics reform bill in the upcoming legislative session. This time, with pressure from Tea Party groups and others, there’s a good chance a gift-cap will become law.
A coalition pushing for ethics reform begins holding town hall meetings around Georgia on Tuesday. The groups are starting in Macon to promote their campaign to pass a $100 cap on lobbyists’ gifts to lawmakers.
Two of Georgia’s most powerful politicians are pledging to co-sponsor an ethics bill to limit lobbyist gifts to lawmakers to $100. It’s a change of heart for the Republicans who have been part of the Senate majority against the gift cap.