Saturday, December 11, 2010

Senate passes bill allowing no spending on gifts by lobbyists for public officials

Published: Friday, December 10, 2010, 5:50 PM ??? Updated: Friday, December 10, 2010, 5:50 PM

The Alabama Senate today rejected Gov. Bob Riley's proposed $25 limit on gifts from lobbyists and instead approved a bill allowing no spending by lobbyists.

However, the sponsor of Riley's bill said he was concerned the new version creates a large loophole because it wouldn't bar the companies and people that employ lobbyists from lavishing legislators with dinners and trips.

Senators voted 33-2 to substitute Riley's bill for a version by Sen. Scott Beason. R-Gardendale, that allows no spending by lobbyists.

Beason said voters want legislators to do something about lobbyist spending.

"That is where the corruption is," Beason said.

The Senate ultimately approved Beason's bill by a 35-0 vote.

Earlier today, the Senate passed a bill to end payroll deductions?by state, county and city employees for groups that lobby.

The House of Representatives earlier today passed three bills, including a ban on transfers of campaign funds between political action committees.

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