You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to myAJC.com

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.

GREAT REASONS TO SUBSCRIBE TODAY!

  • IN-DEPTH REPORTING
  • INTERACTIVE STORYTELLING
  • NEW TOPICS & COVERAGE
  • ePAPER
X

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and bonus content- exclusively for subscribers. Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks

X

Welcome to myAJC.com

This subscriber-only site gives you exclusive access to breaking news, in-depth coverage, exclusive interactives and bonus content.

You can read free articles of your choice a month that are only available on myAJC.com.

Lobbyists spend $21,000 to keep Georgia lawmakers fed on final day


Lawmakers worked about 15 hours - with a few breaks - on the final day of the 2017 session last month.

Lobbyists worked their wallets almost as hard to keep them fed.

From mid-morning on March 30 to almost 1 a.m. the next day, lawmakers voted about 145 times, while also holding backroom meetings, welcoming family members and guests to the House and Senate floor, getting their ears bent by lobbyists and tearing up paper to throw when the final gavel of the session fell.

An Atlanta Journal-Constitution review of filings shows lobbyists spent about $21,000, mostly on meals, and occasionally beverages, on the final day - and night - of the session.

That’s about typical. It usually costs in the neighborhood of $20,000 to feed lawmakers on the final day, even more if lobbyists pay big for a post-session party.

A lobbyist for the firm headed by longtime GOP lobbyist Jay Morgan reported spending $449 on a breakfast for senators. Two lobbyists representing the state trial lawyers spent $1,145 providing lunch to the House Democratic Caucus, while Michael Shelnutt, with McGuire Woods Consulting, which was still working hard on the final day to pass bills, reported spending $1,160 for a Senate Republican Caucus dinner.

Among many other issues it was working on, McGuire Woods represented the company pushing for legislation to provide a tax sales break to big yacht owners if they get their boats fixed at the firm’s boat yard in Savannah. The bill passed the Senate around 11 p.m. that night.

Lobbyists typically pay for an after-session party as well. A lobbyist for PruittHealth, the state’s largest nursing home company, reported spending $240 on March 31 for a “Sine Die Party.” A couple of other lobbyists reporting spending the same amount but listed it as a “dinner.”



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Georgia Politics

Georgia Court of Appeals rules against Oxendine in ethics case
Georgia Court of Appeals rules against Oxendine in ethics case

Former Georgia Insurance Commissioner John Oxendine lost another round in his court fight to get accusations over his handling of campaign money during his failed 2010 bid for governor dismissed. A superior court judge last year rejected Oxendine’s bid to get the ethics commission complaint dismissed and ruled that the ethics panel should decide...
Senate health plan may leave 680,000 more Georgians without insurance
Senate health plan may leave 680,000 more Georgians without insurance

After two high-profile revisions, the GOP health care plan is still expected to lead to hundreds of thousands more Georgians losing health insurance. The Congressional Budget Office released its score of the Senate plan’s impacts late Monday. The nonpartisan office estimated that 22 million more Americans would be without health insurance at...
Georgia’s Handel takes oath to kick off congressional career
Georgia’s Handel takes oath to kick off congressional career

There was a brief photo-op with U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan, a few formalities from U.S. Rep. John Lewis, a hug and then an oath. The whole affair took less than half an hour. And just like that, Karen Handel made Georgia history, becoming the state’s first Republican congresswoman. Monday evening’s events on the House floor were a coda...
No malicious intent by Homeland Security in alleged Georgia probing
No malicious intent by Homeland Security in alleged Georgia probing

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s inspector general has completed a report indicating there was no malicious intent last year when Secretary of State Brian Kemp alleged the federal agency may have tried to hack into the Georgia’s voter registration system. The finding came after Georgia U.S. Rep. Jody Hice and Utah U.S. Rep...
Georgia to save $56 million by booting ineligibles from health plan
Georgia to save $56 million by booting ineligibles from health plan

The state is hoping to save nearly $56 million a year by removing ineligible family members of those enrolled in the State Health Benefit Plan from the program. The state Department of Community Health, which administers Medicaid as well as the State Health Benefit Plan for teachers, state employees, retirees and their dependents, announced last year...
More Stories