The state Senate gives unanimous passage to a tough ethics reform bill.
Sen. Jeff Mullis (R-Chickamauga), who presented the bill in the Senate, says will it change the culture at the Capitol and apply to every elected official in Georgia from the governor down to the local coroner.
“They will be under the... strictest ethical standard our state has ever had,” he says.
The measure includes $100 caps on gifts from lobbyists reflecting an internal rule passed by the Senate on the first day of the session. It differs from a House version that banned gifts altogether.
Any local or state elected body would have to pass their own rules regarding gifts, which could not exceed $100, or else they would be subject to a total ban.
Also under the Senate version, only paid lobbyists would have to register and the fee would remain at $320.
The bill by House Speaker David Ralston required anyone who lobbies on behalf of an organization for more than five days to register although the fee was waived.
The measure now must go back to the House to agree or disagree with the changes and could set up a fight between the two sides with just three days left in the session.