By Aaron Gould Sheinin and Chris Joyner
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has covered the push for ethics reform every step of the way with investigative reporting looking into how our public officials interact with lobbyists, where the system fails and how other states have done it better. As the Legislature wrestles with how to overhaul the system, the AJC will continue to provide in-depth coverage you will not find anywhere else.
Highlights of House Speaker David Ralston’s ethics legislation
- It would ban lobbyist spending on individual members of the General Assembly.
- The restrictions would apply to all elected officials in the state, including mayors and school boards.
- It would allow lobbyists to continue to spend on committees and caucuses, and lawmakers could be reimbursed for trips to conferences and meetings.
- Lawmakers would have to pay for entertainment expenses, such as golf.
- It would restore rule-making authority to the state ethics commission.
- It would create a new reporting period for campaign contributions and expenses. All lawmakers would be required to file a disclosure report within the first five days of the legislative session.
- It would broaden the definition of a lobbyist in an attempt to force those who regularly try to influence the Legislature to disclose their activities and identify themselves as lobbyists.