Ga. senators debate limits on lobbyist spending

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Posted at 1:33 PM, Mar 19, 2013
and last updated 2013-03-19 09:56:48-04

ATLANTA (AP) - Georgia senators appear poised to rewrite part of House Speaker David Ralston's plan to limit lobbyist spending.

Members of the Senate Rules Committee heard several hours of testimony Tuesday about Ralston's plan, which would generally prohibit spending on individual state officials, including lawmakers.

Most of the people who testified criticized provisions that could force those belonging to nonprofit groups to register as lobbyists, even if they spend no money or very little money on lawmakers. Several senators expressed concerns about the provision.

In a concession, Rep. Rich Golick said that Ralston would be willing to waive the proposed $25 fee to get a lobbyist badge.

The Senate earlier adopted an internal rule prohibiting individual lawmakers from accepting gifts worth more than $100 from lobbyists. Ralston has called that plan weak.