Committee Approves Gift Ban, but Will It Play in Legislature?

Committee Approves Gift Ban, but Will It Play in Legislature?

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- Utah legislators could find themselves saying "no" more often to lobbyists under a measure a committee released today for a vote by the House.

The bill would prohibit lobbyists from offering legislators any gift worth more than five dollars. There are exceptions. Legislators could accept any amount of funeral flowers, for instance. They could also accept admission to an event where all legislators are invited.

The bill would fine lobbyists, but not legislators $1,000 for violations.

The measure's sponsor, Representative Ralph Becker says he is encouraged by Governor Jon Huntsman's ethics order last month for employees at state agencies.

In past years similar legislation has been left to die by both houses failing to act on it before the session ends.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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