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POLITICAL NOTEBOOK: Shafer applauds ethics compromise

David Shafer

David Shafer

Gwinnett's top-ranked legislator was encouraged last week by the last-minute compromise to impose a new ethics law for the state.

Sen. David Shafer, R-Duluth, said the amended version of the proposal could go a long way to change things in Atlanta.

"The House and Senate compromise on HB 142 will dramatically change the culture in state government by banning lobbyist expenditures on gifts such as golf outings, concert tickets and international travel, enacting a $75 cap on other gifts and preserving the First Amendment rights of citizens expressing personal views," Shafer said in a statement.

The two bodies passed two versions of the proposal earlier this year, with the House seeking an all-out ban on gifts and the Senate seeking a $99 cap. Issues on who would have to register as a lobbyist also had to be worked out before the final gavel went down on Sine Die last week.

"As a long-time supporter of lobbyist gift limits, it was encouraging to see the General Assembly work together to come to an agreement," said Shafer, who played a major role as the Senate president pro tem. "I would like to thank the members of the HB 142 conference committee for their hard work. I also want to acknowledge Gov. Deal, Lt. Gov. Cagle and Speaker Ralston for their leadership on this important issue."

Immigration forum set

Residents can learn tonight about an upcoming immigration debate.

State and federal leaders will be on hand to discuss the reform bill in the U.S. Senate at a town hall meeting at 7 p.m. Thursday at Iglesia Centro Cristiano Monte Sinai in Norcross.

Congressman Hank Johnson will be joined by state Sen. Curt Thompson and Rep. Pedro Marin for the discussion. All three are Democrats.

Political Notebook appears in the Thursday and Sunday editions of the Gwinnett Daily Post.

Camie Young can be reached via email at camie.young@gwinnettdailypost.com.

For archived columns, go to www.gwinnettdailypost.com/politics.