State lawmakers will be back at the Capitol in two weeks to start the 2014 General Assembly session and advocates have already been working on their legislative agendas. “We are also expecting it to be a very fast session—gavel in, gavel out—and that just means we have to be ready to hit the ground running,” said Liz Coyle, deputy director of Georgia Watch, a consumer advocacy group.
High-ranking insurance regulators in Georgia accepted $100-per-head meals and a round of golf from the industry they are supposed to monitor. That spending is legal, though other state agencies discourage it.
A last-minute push in Georgia to impose a cap on lobbyist spending may have opened the door to new complications. Legislation approved Thursday by the General Assembly would generally prevent lobbyists from more than $75 at a time on public officials, including state lawmakers. Right now, lobbyists can spend as much as they want as long as they disclose that spending. However, it remains unclear how firm that spending cap will be.