Resolutions were made, the Peach was dropped, and a new year is beginning in Georgia.

For those of us who are public interest fighters, a new year means that a new legislative session, ripe with opportunity, is beginning at the Gold Dome.

2013 promises to be an exciting year in Georgia, and here at Georgia PIRG we’re especially excited for new ethics reform legislation that has been pre-filed by State Senator Josh McKoon (R-Columbus).  If passed, Georgia would join a number of states in passing strict limits on gifts from lobbyists.

Non-binding votes in primaries this summer found that the public overwhelmingly supports a cap on gifts from lobbyists.  A question from the Republican primary found that 87 percent of voters supported a $100 ban, and in the Democratic primary 72 percent of voters supported ending the current practice which permits unlimited gifts.

A hard cap on gifts to lobbyists could be a crucial first step toward restoring the public’s trust in government.  With support from the public and with legislation ready to go, we hope that Georgia’s New Year’s resolution is to move forward on ethics reform.