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Posted: January 31, 2013 3:06 p.m.

Lawmaker: Ga. lobbying rules bill will be amended

ATLANTA (AP) — A Republican lawmaker says a proposal to tighten lobbyist rules will be amended to answer concerns it could limit free speech rights.

Rep. Rich Golick said during a hearing Thursday that lawmakers will change House Speaker David Ralston's bill to answer questions over how it defines who's a lobbyist.

Ralston would force anyone who advocates for or against legislation or policy to pay a fee, register as a lobbyist and publicly report their spending. He would make exceptions for people speaking their views to hometown officials, but not necessarily if they speak to other officials.

Lobbyists must now register if they spend 10 percent of their working time on lobbying or spend $1,000 or more annually on lobbying efforts.

The bill could force volunteers to register if they represent nonprofits.

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