Lobbying reform came in just under the wire Thursday, accompanied by threats and late-night negotiations and plenty of exemptions.
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To reach our reporters: Chris Joyner (email@example.com), Kristina Torres (firstname.lastname@example.org), Aaron Gould Sheinin (email@example.com) and Greg Bluestein (firstname.lastname@example.org).
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has the largest and most experienced team of journalists at the Capitol. Four of them reported the accompanying story throughout the session’s final day Thursday: Chris Joyner, Kristina Torres, Aaron Gould Sheinin and Greg Bluestein.
House Bill 142 limiting gifts lobbyists may give to public officials passed both chambers late Thursday. Here’s a glance at what the bill would do:
- Limit gifts of food, beverages, travel and lodging to $75 or less per lobbyist.
- Ban sports and entertainment tickets as gifts, but officials may purchase them at face value from lobbyists.
- Ban “recreational or leisure activities” such as golf.
- Allow lobbyists to pay for annual committee dinners and events for caucuses, but not subcommittees or local delegations.
- Anyone receiving pay or reimbursement of more than $250 while attempting to influence legislation must register as a lobbyist.