Georgia Senate unanimously approves measure to ban lying

Sen. Jeff Mullis on the Senate floor. Bob Andres / bandres@ajc.com

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Sen. Jeff Mullis on the Senate floor. Bob Andres / bandres@ajc.com

The Georgia Senate on Monday unanimously passed a resolution that aims to ban those testifying before committees from intentionally lying to or misleading lawmakers.

Senate Rules Chairman Jeff Mullis, a Chickamauga Republican, said the goal of the legislation is to allow committee chairmen the option to "most strongly request" members of the public to be truthful.

“Don’t you think it’s important for us to have the truth when we’re trying to put good laws together so we have the right information?” Mullis said.

Senate Resolution 459 would only apply to Senate proceedings. It does not apply to lawmakers. Mullis said their speech is constitutionally protected.

Those proven to have been lying could be cited for contempt and barred from giving testimony during the remainder of the two-year session. An initial recommendation that repeat offenders be banned for life was removed from the proposal.