ATLANTA -- Georgia's lawmakers are back in the Capitol for the start of their annual 40-day legislative session.

The House and Senate gaveled into session at 10 a.m. Monday.

While the first day is mostly for formalities, the Senate could vote to set an internal rule capping lobbyist gifts to lawmakers at $100. House Speaker David Ralston has said Republican leaders will likely introduce legislation this week creating a prohibition on those gifts.

Gov. Nathan Deal will give his annual State of the State speech Thursday and unveil his budget plans. Republicans, who dominate both chambers, expect they will once against need to cut state spending because revenues have not met projections in a weak economy.

Unofficially the session began Sunday evening in fine Southern style: with food, fun and, of course, more than a little informal lobbying. The event is called the Wild Hog Supper and has been held every year since 1962.

Sponsored by a nonprofit called Friends of Agriculture Foundation Inc., the party raises money for the Georgia Food Bank Association. But the foundation is essentially a collection of lobbyists who will spend the next three months asking lawmakers for votes.

The supper offers interested parties face time with the state's leaders, including Gov. Nathan Deal.

Read or Share this story: