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.
A state senator from Columbus says he’ll call for changing how Georgia funds an ethics commission in the upcoming legislative session. Sen. Joshua McKoon says that would probably require a constitutional amendment, which needs a two-thirds vote in each chamber of the legislature to pass before going to the voters for approval.
State lawmakers passed 200 major bills during the 40-day legislative session, but a bill that would have stiffened ethics rules for elected officials was not among them. Lawmakers also didn’t pass a measure that would have lifted restrictions on carrying guns to the state Capitol and other public places.
House Speaker David Ralston gaveled out the 2012 session of the Georgia General Assembly Thursday at midnight. State lawmakers tackled some thorny issues this session, including tax reform. But the volume of bills was much lower than last year, as many lawmakers were eager to finish up early so they could hit the campaign trail.
There is division among state Republican leaders over capping how much the state spends each year. A bill drafted by state Senators would call for a constitutional amendment to give Georgians a vote on spending limits.