The need was clear. Pass a law that would rein in limitless spending by lobbyists on members of the Georgia General Assembly.
That’s what the people wanted. In the end that’s not what Georgians got. Our lawmakers let us down.
When the behind-closed-doors, last-moment angling, maneuvering and arm-twisting ended late Thursday, the Legislature had managed to pass a bill on ethics reform. There’s little therein to praise, except that perhaps, in the broadest sense, passing something is preferable to doing nothing this year.
At least there is now on the record a most skeletal of limits on some lobbyist spending on lawmakers. That is better than no limit at all. And passage of House Bill 142 does change the tenor of future debate on this issue. Ethics reform advocates can and should build on that opening.
By passing such a weak, flawed law, the Capitol’s elected class have most likely managed to ensure that the push for ethics reform won’t end anytime soon. What lawmakers