The Kid from “Deliverance” Lives in a State More Ethical Than Missouri

 

 

Part 5 of our 36-part series looks at Georgia.  When it comes to ethics, states can change their stripes. We see this most recently with Georgia.  In 2012 they added this to state law:

“No person who is registered as a lobbyist under Code Section 21-5-71 shall make any expenditure.   No public officer shall with actual knowledge accept any expenditure from a person who is registered as a lobbyist under Code Section 21-5-71.”

“Expenditures” – as defined in Georgia state statute – include gifts of more than $75.

Thus, Georgia is one of 23 states that allow lobbyists to provide lawmakers gifts, but up to a limit.  Georgia is one of six states that put the limit on the gift’s value – as opposed to the cumulative value of all gifts received per lawmaker.

Not ideal.  But still better than the limitless gift-giving free-for-all found in Missouri. 

Georgia was shamed into action this past year.  Like Missouri, Georgia used to be one of just a handful of states with no limits on lobbyist gift-giving.  Eventually, Georgia’s lawmakers found their ethical compass and passed their first significant ethical reform in decades.  The first target of the reforms: the limitless gift-giving from lobbyists.

Georgia eventually figured it out.  When will Missouri?

Support the Missouri Gift-Ban Pledge and legislation to regulate lobbyist gift-giving.