The greatest value in the Georgia Senate approving a rule that Senators can’t accept gifts from lobbyists of more than a $100 is that it kept the issue in the public eye. It really doesn’t stop Senators from being showered with gifts by lobbyists trying to influence how lawmakers vote. It doesn’t specify the number of gifts so a lobbyist can give any number of gifts valued at a hundred dollars each. It also doesn’t apply to junkets.
Columbus Senator Josh McKoon, who is leading the movement to strengthen ethics laws, isn’t going to let up on getting some effective ethics legislation passed in this session and thinks the rule change is a first step in the process. Let’s hope he can get it done. Georgia is one of only three states that still allow unlimited lobbyists’ gifts.