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Posted: January 14, 2013 12:50 p.m.

Ga. Senate approves lobbyist cap with loopholes

ATLANTA (AP) — Georgia state senators cannot accept gifts worth more than $100 from lobbyists under a new chamber rule, but it contains major loopholes.

The Senate voted 42-12 on Monday to accept that rule and others on the first day of the annual session.

The rule bans lawmakers from accepting a gift worth more than $100 from a lobbyist or a group of lobbyists.

But it does not limit how many gifts that lobbyists can give. The rule does not stop lawmakers from accepting travel junkets from lobbyists, industries or businesses. The proposed cap would not apply to meals or events that are open to all members of the General Assembly.

The Senate rule also gives back significant powers to Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle that he lost during a Republican leadership struggle.

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