Published: Thursday, December 16, 2010, 3:34 AM ??? Updated: Thursday, December 16, 2010, 3:44 AM
MONTGOMERY -- The Legislature at about 2:55 a.m. today gave its final approval to a bill that would limit what lobbyists and principals -- the people or businesses that hire lobbyists -- may give legislators.
? The measure, Senate Bill 14 by Sen. Bryan Taylor, R-Prattville, will become law if Gov. Bob Riley signs it. It is one of seven bills that Riley asked lawmakers to pass in the special legislative session that he started last week.
?Lawmakers have passed all seven bills and ended the special session at about 3 a.m.
?? Under the gift bill, a lobbyist or a principal could not give a public employee or public official a thing of value. But the bill includes many exceptions. ?Lobbyists would be able to buy officials a meal costing no more than $25, with a total limit of $150 per year. Principals would be able to buy officials a meal costing no more than $50, with a total limit of $250 per year.
? There would be no limit on what a lobbyist or principal could spend on transportation and lodging expenses for lawmakers and their spouses to attend ''an educational function'' sponsored by a lobbyist or principal, either in Alabama or outside the state.
? There also would be no limit on what a lobbyist or principal could spend on a ''widely attended event,'' a gathering, dinner, reception or other event at which more than 12 people ''with a diversity of views or interests'' were expected.
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? The House and Senate passed different versions of the bill but agreed on a compromise version. The Senate voted 31-2 for it. The House of Representatives voted 92-7 for the compromise.
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Read more in The Alabama Special Session Files
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