Gov. Deal Signs Ethics Legislation

May 6, 2013

Gov. Nathan Deal signs new state ethics legislation at the Capitol on Monday.
Credit Denis O'Hayer/WABE News

Governor Nathan Deal signed new ethics legislation Monday. The law caps the amount of money lobbyists can shower on lawmakers while trying to influence their decision-making. 

House Bill 142 prohibits lobbyists from spending more than $75 at a time on state lawmakers. However, lobbyists can make multiple expenditures.  Current law doesn’t limit lobbyists’ spending as long as they disclose their expenses.

Georgia House Speaker David Ralston originally opposed spending limits for lobbyists, but Monday endorsed the legislation.

“This General Assembly kept one of its most sacred obligations this year by keeping faith with the people of Georgia by responding to concerns that they had about the way public officials interact with registered lobbyists,” Ralston said.

Gov. Deal also signed House Bill 143, which requires more transparency in the use of lawmakers’ campaign donations. The governor said both bills are important steps toward building the public’s trust.

“We cannot expect them to honor our laws or elect us to do further good for the state unless we have put in place those measures whereby, with certainty, they know we have their best interests in mind,” the governor said.

The law will take effect January 1, before the start of the next legislative session.