Georgia Officials Take Lobbyist Gifts Before New Rules

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News Release: Associated Press News

ATLANTA (AP) -- Public officials in Georgia are enjoying perks from lobbyists before tighter rules take effect Jan. 1.

The regulations generally ban lobbyists from spending more than $75 at a time on public officials. They will also bar lobbyists from buying entertainment for officials. However, there are lots of exceptions to the rules.

Several lawmakers accepted spending in excess of the new limits in the period after the new legislation was signed but before the new rules take effect. While that spending was legal, it was out of step with the spirit of the new limits.

Lobbyists bought rounds of golf, Falcons and Braves tickets for lawmakers in just a few examples. Lawmakers and lobbyists say there was nothing wrong with that spending.

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