Riley Targets Ethics

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Gov. Bob Riley is preparing a package of ethics legislation for Alabama lawmakers to consider. Riley says he wants lobbyists to disclose everything they spend entertaining pubic officials.

Currently, lobbyists have to file a report only when they spend more than $250 on an official in a single day. Riley says a lobbyist could spend $249 every day for a year, running up a $90,000 tab and never report it.

Riley also said he wants to expand Alabama's lobbying laws to cover people who try to influence the governor's office and the executive branch of government.

Now the laws apply to lobbyists who try to influence the legislative branch.

Riley is also advocating state laws banning pass-through pork and PAC-to-PAC transfers of political contributions.

The governor says the bills will help restore public confidence and trust in state government. Riley expects to decide later this week whether to propose the bills in the regular session of the Legislature starting in one week or isolate them in a special session.