Lobbyists spend Big Bucks on Georgia Lawmakers - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Georgia Lawmakers courted by Lobbyists

Georgia Lawmakers courted by Lobbyists

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ATLANTA (AP) - Records show lobbyists spent more than $250,000 on gifts, meals and entertainment for Georgia lawmakers during the opening weeks of the 2011 legislative session.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports top legislative leaders in the state House and Senate received the biggest share of the freebies.

House Speaker David Ralston, a Republican from Blue Ridge, received $2,747 in gifts last month.

New ethics laws passed last year require lobbyists to disclose every two weeks what they're spending to influence Georgia lawmakers.

Legislators say the free meals and outings give them a chance to get up to speed on issues they face at the Capitol, but don't necessarily influence their decisions.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)