Ga. Senate passes competing bill on lobbying rules

9:40 PM, Mar 22, 2013   |    comments
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ATLANTA -- The Georgia Senate has upped the ante on the House as the two chambers attempt to overhaul lobbying rules at the Capitol.

The Senate passed its version of House Bill 142 without opposition. It would limit lobbyists to spending $100 at a time when seeking to influence a state official. House Speaker David Ralston says he wants to ban gifts outright, though his version has several exceptions.

Ralston would still allow gifts - with no cap - when lobbyists spend on entire committees, subcommittees and legislative caucuses. And he'd allow travel for official duties, except airline costs.

The Senate version eliminated most exceptions, but would still permit unlimited spending on undefined group events.

Each side says its version is stricter.

Any compromise must happen before lawmakers adjourn on March 28.

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