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Posted: August 23, 2011 12:30 p.m.

GOP: Punish lawmakers who owe fines

ATLANTA (AP) - Republican House members are pushing a plan that would ban lawmakers from serving on committees if they owe ethics fines.

House Majority Leader Larry O'Neal presented the resolution at Rules Committee on Tuesday.

O'Neal said the process would allow lawmakers to discipline themselves and said media reports showing that elected lawmakers have outstanding ethics fines are "embarrassing."

Democrats questioned whether the cash-strapped ethics panel could handle additional work.

The Rules Committee delayed a vote on Tuesday to consider a change proposed by House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams, who wants to clarify that the ethics commission would be responsible for determining when a lawmaker is delinquent. They are expected to vote on the measure Wednesday.

State lawmakers are meeting for a special session to redraw legislative and congressional maps.

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