All ethics bills sent to governor's desk after late debate

MONTGOMERY, AL (WBRC) - Another late night for state lawmakers helped the special session to end with the passage of seven ethics bills, a victory for outgoing Governor Riley.

All seven bills introduced for the session have passed and go to the governor's desk. Those bills include mandatory ethics training and a ban on money transfers from one political action committee to another.
Lawmakers voted early Thursday morning on the last bills, one of them being the "double dipping" bill which bans legislators from having a second job in state government or public education, except for limited exceptions like serving in the Alabama National Guard.

The other bill was the hotly debated bill that limits spending on state lawmakers by lobbyists and the people who hire them. The final version of the bill prohibits lobbyists or those groups who hire lobbyists from giving lawmakers anything of value with exceptions. Lobbyists can buy lawmakers meals costing no more than $25 with a yearly cap of $150. The limit is $50 per meal with a $250 yearly cap for companies who hire lobbyists. It doesn't require any reporting of the expenditures and it does not limit spending on a widely attended reception or event for lawmakers.

The special session ended around 3:00 a.m.

Lawmakers will return January 11th for an organizational session.

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