Government

More News | | | Editor

Gov. Deal signs ethics legislation

Monday, May 6, 2013 1:07 PM
Last updated 6:56 PM
  • Follow Government

ATLANTA – Gov. Nathan Deal credited the news media with ethics legislation as he signed it into law Monday.

“The issue of ethics is something that you in the media led the charge on,” he told reporters gathered in the Capitol for the brief ceremony.

Media reports included calls from groups like Common Cause and various Tea Party organizations that pushed for restrictions on lobbyists. Both political parties happened to put straw-poll questions about lobbyists’ gifts on last summer’s primary ballots.

House Bill 142 sets the first limit on gifts that can be given to legislators. The $75 maximum is for each expenditure, and critics warn that lobbyists could bypass it by making a series of gifts.

House Speaker David Ralston said that while he favored a complete ban on certain gifts, he isn’t recommending legislation next year to close loopholes.

“We need to let this measure work,” said Ralston, R-Blue Ridge. “It would be premature to consider revisions.”

Asked about a last-minute change in the bill that excuses lawyers from registered as lobbyists and having to report what they give officeholders, Ralston said he wasn’t concerned it would open the door to abuses.

The speaker repeated what he said throughout the past year that he didn’t think there were widespread incidences of legislators swayed by lobbyists’ gifts.

“No, I don’t think there’s a problem,” he said, calling it a misperception instead.

Deal, however, praised the ethics bill as necessary to restoring public trust.

“I think it is a considerable step forward,” he said.

Comments (2) Add comment
ADVISORY: Users are solely responsible for opinions they post here and for following agreed-upon rules of civility. Posts and comments do not reflect the views of this site. Posts and comments are automatically checked for inappropriate language, but readers might find some comments offensive or inaccurate. If you believe a comment violates our rules, click the "Flag as offensive" link below the comment.
my.voice
4924
Points
my.voice 05/06/13 - 03:39 pm
2
0
When you need to create a law

When you need to create a law for ethical behavior, you have a real problem on your hands which a law will not cure or address.

How about this:

IT SHALL BE ILLEGAL FOR A LOBBYIST, BY NAME OR TERM, TO GIVE ANYONE ANY GIFT, PRESENT, TRIP, BLA BLA BLA. THE INFRACTION OF BREAKING THIS LAW BEGINS WITH 50 LASHES WITH A CANE POLE IN TOWN CENTER. LASHES ARE INCREASED BY MULTIPLES OF 25 PER INCIDENT. RECEIVER OF SAID GIFT AS OUTLINED ABOVE TO BE GIVEN DOUBLE THE AMOUNT OF LASHES AS THE GIVER.

Darby
26926
Points
Darby 05/06/13 - 10:49 pm
2
0
Wonder just how long it will be before

the people of Georgia discover what most of us already know? The darn bill has no teeth in it. Ethics bills never do. They are always for show, not for go!

Bodhisattva
6466
Points
Bodhisattva 05/07/13 - 05:55 am
2
0
Just reading the headline made me laugh.
Unpublished

After the signing, the governor, along with Duke Cunningham, Charles Rangel, William Jefferson, Tom DeLay, and Susan Ralston, were taken to lunch by executives of Recovery Services Inc. and Southern Magnolia Capital. They each had 15 $75 lunches.

Back to Top

Top headlines

Democrats target turnout for Sunday voting

Registered voters in Augusta-Richmond County can cast ballots in the Nov. 4 election from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday in the Advance Voting Center at Augusta Municipal Building, 530 Greene St.
Search Augusta jobs