ATLANTA - A Republican lawmaker says a proposal to tighten lobbyist rules will be amended to answer concerns it could limit free speech rights.
Rep. Rich Golick, a Smyrna Republican, said during a hearing Thursday that lawmakers will change House Speaker David Ralston's bill to answer questions over how it defines who's a lobbyist.
Ralston would force anyone who advocates for or against legislation or policy to pay a fee, register as a lobbyist and publicly report their spending. He would make exceptions for people speaking their individual views, but not necessarily if they are part of a larger group.
Lobbyists must now register if they spend 10 percent of their working time on lobbying or spend $1,000 or more annually on lobbying efforts.
The bill could force volunteers to register if they represent nonprofits.