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Angeles County | Community News File / Los Angeles

Panel OKs $500 Cap on Donations to Lawmakers

October 15, 1998

Private contributions to Los Angeles lawmakers' office accounts would be limited to $500 under a proposal approved Tuesday by a key City Council committee.

The Rules and Elections Committee, the first stop before the full council, agreed to reduce the limit on those contributions from the current $1,000 and to create an exclusive list of allowable expenditures for those funds, including social events for staff members and conferences, meetings and receptions concerning city business. Entertainment expenses would no longer be acceptable.

The $500 limit is consistent with the limits on campaign contributions.

"Before we had restrictions, it was not unusual to get $2,500 or even $5,000 contributions," said Council President John Ferraro, head of the panel.

The committee also agreed to clarify lobbyists' registration requirements in the interest of full public disclosure, ethics commission officials said.

"These are not changes in how we have been applying the [lobbyist] law," said commission executive director Rebecca Avila. "We are looking at clarifying and streamlining the law."

The full council is expected to review and vote on the changes in the next couple of weeks.

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