Ehrhart: Ban gifts to every state official

Hassinger had the following in the morning reads:

Ethics Reform: This will be a lot of sizzle and maybe a bit of steak. A $100 gift cap proposed in the Senate will likely be trumped by a total gift ban in the House.

Along those lines, House Rep. Earl Ehrhart (R-Powder Springs) is carrying the “total gift ban” flag.  A fun lil quote:

What irks the Powder Springs Republican about the current debate on government transparency is a failure to recognize how far the Georgia Legislature has come from when he was first elected in 1988.

“When I first got there, the Henry Grady Hotel was just winding down,” he said. “That was the hangout where everybody — legislators, press, lobbyists — that was ‘Sodom on Peachtree.’ Deals. Hookers. It was all there. It was a whole different world.”

He goes on to say:

“I’m thrilled with transparency and disclosure,” he said. “What I don’t like about this current push is the specificity on the legislative branch of government. I would submit that in the scheme of transparency and disclosures, the state legislative members have a significant amount more than any other elected official, county commissioner — you cover all these, cities. There’s no scrutiny there.”

I’m all about transparency and disclosure, and I certainly want it on a local level, but I could definitely see them blowing this up into something so complicated that nothing gets passed.  Don’t get crazy, gentlemen.  Just some simple block and tackling to move the ball forward, please.

Fractional SPLOSTS will also be in the mix this session:

State Sen. Judson Hill (R-east Cobb) cosponsored legislation for a fractional SPLOST last year, but it was never approved. Hill said he plans to try again this session. From the House end, state Rep. John Carson (R-northeast Cobb) said he’s looking into filing a similar bill.


  1. NorthGAGOP says:

    If Rep. Ehrhart is concerned about parity in transparency, he can propose legislation that will also subject the legislature to open records requests.

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