The 2013 reforms made an effort to rein in spending on groups, but it’s not clear that is happening. For instance, the law requires the House and Senate ethics committees to approve a list of caucuses eligible to partake in lobbyist-sponsored dinners and limit lobbyists to hosting a single dinner per committee. This year, the Senate failed to approve any and the House committee did not issue its list until six weeks after the session began.
Nonetheless, lobbyists filed expenses for at least 54 such group events without the House committee’s blessing. An Atlanta expert on political law says that unless the per capita cost exceeds $75 per person, such events need no further permission and lobbyists aren’t required to report individually the lawmakers who attended.
Do the 2013 limits on lobbyist spending work? For more read this week's AJC Watchdog column here.