Critcher: No Plan to Require Lobbyist Disclosure Rule

LITTLE ROCK, AR - Senate President Jack Critcher (D-Batesville) says the upper chamber should not follow the lead of the House, which may require its members to file monthly reports on how much lobbyists spend on them.

Critcher told The Associated Press yesterday that lawmakers should wait until 2009 and consider ethics law reforms Attorney General Dustin McDaniel has said he is considering as part of his legislative package then.

An ethics bill by House Speaker Benny Petrus failed in the last session.  That bill would have required lobbyists to file detained reports to the state when they spend money on legislators.  Currently, legislators can receive up to $100 in gifts, food and other items a day from an individual lobbyist.  Lobbyists must report to the state when they spend more than $40 on an individual legislator in a day.

Petrus has said he's reviewing the proposed rules but is skeptical of the change because it would not apply to the Senate.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)