ATLANTA (AP) - Gov. Nathan Deal's executive order seems simple: Employees in Georgia's executive branch should not accept gifts worth more than $25, particularly from lobbyists and vendors.
In reality, the policy is more complicated.
Lobbyists frequently go over that spending limit on executive branch employees. That's because Deal does not control every employee in Georgia's executive branch. Other elected officials set their own rules for their employees. Some agencies adopt tougher standards than those set in Deal's order. Some set none at all.
A spokesman for the governor said that of the 120,000 employees in the executive branch, about 50,000 fall outside Deal's jurisdiction.
The loopholes will narrow when a new state law takes effect Jan. 1. It generally prohibits lobbyists from spending more than $75 on state officials.
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