ATLANTA — Senator Josh McKoon (R-Columbus) held a press conference today to applaud the Georgia State Senate for boldly passing a resolution that will amend the Senate Rules and cap gifts from any registered lobbyist or group of registered lobbyists at $100 per item, event or meal. The new rule originates from proactive efforts by the Georgia State Senate to solicit input from both Senators and citizens on how to effectively address lobbyist expenditure concerns.
“Amending our Senate Rules to include a $100 gift cap marks a new day in the Georgia legislature,” said Sen. McKoon. “This decisive action reflects a culture of change under the Gold Dome and brings us one step closer to restoring the public’s trust. I applaud the efforts of my colleagues for taking this critical step toward increasing transparency and creating a more open, responsible state government.”
During the press conference, McKoon was joined by members of the Georgia Alliance for Ethics Reform, which includes Common Cause Georgia, Georgia Conservatives in Action, Georgia Tea Party Patriots, Georgia Watch and the League of Women Voters of Georgia.
Elected to the Georgia Senate in 2010, Sen. Josh McKoon has quickly become one of Georgia’s leading advocates for ethics reform. In 2012, Sen. McKoon led a bipartisan statewide bus tour through 13 cities in four days to advance ethics reform and encourage voters to support a $100 cap on lobbyist gifts.
Currently, Georgia is only one of three states that does not have a limit on the amount of gifts a lobbyist can give to a legislator. However, taxpayers sent a loud message to state lawmakers last July when a nonbinding question to limit lobbyist gifts on the 2012 primary ballot received overwhelming support from Georgians statewide.
Any violations of the $100 gift cap will be subject to review by the Senate Ethics Committee.